Alcohol During Pregnancy

Bringing a new being into this world  is one of the most wonderful and fulfilling experiences in life. During this phase, the expectant mother’s general well being and lifestyle play a crucial role in the progress of the baby developing within her womb. She has to take utmost care of herself to ensure that all goes well with her pregnancy.

In spite of this knowledge, some women fail to give up detrimental practices such as alcohol consumption during pregnancy due to a variety of reasons. Social pressure is the main factor that urges women to continue drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Pregnant women also resort to alcohol as a means of reducing emotional, mental or physical stress or just out of habit.


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Effects of Alcohol During Pregnancy

In reality, when a woman drinks alcohol, her unborn baby is also affected by it. On consumption, alcohol from the mother’s blood is passed on to the baby through the placenta and can lead to numerous complications referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or FASD. Since alcohol has the ability to cause serious damage in an adult, the adverse effects of alcohol use during pregnancy, on a tiny developing baby, can be easily estimated. Alcohol intake at any time during the pregnancy can cause irreparable brain damage as the brain continues to grow throughout the pregnancy. Sometimes, one may consider a small occasional drink safe. However, it is essential to bear in mind that the effects of alcohol are directly linked with the ability of the body to metabolize alcohol. Sometimes a small amount of alcohol intake could also lead to complications.

Hence, it is advisable to refrain from alcohol intake altogether.

Alcohol During Early Pregnancy

Alcohol during early pregnancy can cause permanent brain, nervous system and spinal cord damage. Regular alcohol intake can cause Fetal Alcohol Effects or FAE, wherein the baby suffers from disorders like hyperactivity, attention deficit disorders, learning disorders and speech problems. These problems may be observed at a later stage in life. In some cases where expectant mothers drink heavily, the baby may be inflicted with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS which causes permanent damage to the brain and nervous system, heart defects, mental retardation, retarded growth, behavioral problems and facial abnormalities. Alcohol-Related Neuro-developmental Disorder" (ARND) refers to defects of the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system and are mainly linked with weak hand-eye coordination, poor motor skills and mental retardation. Alcohol intake can also result in miscarriages, preterm deliveries, low birth weight and still births.

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Alcohol During Pregnancy
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