Alcohol during pregnancy
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful to your unborn child. Alcohol passes through the placenta and gets to the baby. This increases the baby’s risk of being born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
Alcohol is a teratogen. A teratogen is a substance that is known to be harmful to human development. During pregnancy when you consume alcohol , so does your baby. Alcohol breaks down more slowly in the baby and therefore remains in the baby’s blood much longer. This can lead a possible irreversible harm to your baby’s development.
What is the effect of alcohol on my unborn child ?
During the first trimester, vital organs in your baby’s body starts to develop. Consuming alcohol during this vital stage can harm your baby. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome FAS. FAS can lead to lifetime irreversible physical, mental and neurobehavioral birth defects.
Alcohol can also cause the following health issues
- low birth weight
- preterm birth
- hearing or vision problems
- birth defects
- speech and language delays
- behavioral problems
Is any amount of alcohol safe during pregnancy ?
No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. The more you drink, the greater your baby’s risk of complications. However less amount of alcohol can also cause problems.
What if I drank before I realized I was pregnant ?
As soon as you realize you are pregnant, you need to STOP drinking. The earlier you quit, the less chance of any complications.
How can I avoid alcohol ?
These tips may help you stay away from alcohol
- avoid situations where you usually drink such as parties
- ask people around you such as your partner and friends to stay away from alcohol
If you are having problems quitting, you can ask your health care provider for help. You can also join support groups.
Pregnancy and alcohol. American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-and-alcohol/. Accessed February 15 , 2015
Alcohol and Pregnancy: Is ‘A Little Bit’ Safe? WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/drinking-alcohol-during-pregnancy. Accessed February 15, 2015
Alcohol during pregnancy. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/alcohol-during-pregnancy.aspx.Accessed February 15 , 2015.