Effects of Alcohol on Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the phase in a woman’s life which is filled with challenges and responsibilities. At this stage, all focus shifts to the well being of the baby developing within her womb. A well balanced diet, sufficient exercise, adequate rest and an overall healthy lifestyle play a vital role in determining the future of the little baby.

However, some women do not realize the injurious effects of vices like alcohol on the well being of a little baby and continue to consume alcohol during the term of the pregnancy. They do not realize that the decisions that they make have the ability to influence their baby's life forever.

Effects of Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy

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There are numerous harmful effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and they are not limited to any particular trimester. Since the brain continues to grow throughout the pregnancy, the main effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy include permanent brain damage. The entire human body depends on the functioning of the brain and any form of damage is bound to lead to some level of hampered mental functioning and inefficiency of certain organs. In addition, the effects of alcohol during early pregnancy can cause spinal cord disorders and disorders related to the nervous system. Regular alcohol intake can lead to hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders that become apparent right from the infantile stage. Some children may find it difficult to adapt socially while others may have a problem with memory and cognition. Learning disorders and speech impediments may become apparent at a later stage when the child actually attempts to converse or during the schooling phase.

Some children may also have a difficulty with hand-eye coordination and may develop weak motor skills. In severe cases of alcohol effects during pregnancy, the baby may be born with heart defects, mental retardation, neurological problems, behavioral issues, facial deformities and growth impediments. These babies also have a tendency to develop breathing disorders. Alcohol consumption can also lead to miscarriages, still births, preterm deliveries and babies with low birth weight in addition to various maternal health complications.

The quantity of alcohol consumed and its effects are directly related to the fact that the amount of time taken by the body to metabolize alcohol varies from individual to individual. Hence, alcohol consumption that may cause mild effects in some babies may result in serious problems in others while no visible abnormalities may be seen in a lucky few. Hence, abstaining from alcohol altogether is recommended so as to prevent the onset of any form of complication.

Alcohol Effects In Pregnancy
Alcohol Effects During Pregnancy
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