Avoid Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy
No matter what headlines or news articles might say, there is no safe time to regularly consume alcohol during pregnancy. Here is why:
Your adult-sized liver works hard to metabolize and handle alcohol. It is why you feel drunk for a long period of time, and why that feeling gradually fades. Any alcohol consumption during pregnancy also puts the burden of alcohol metabolism on the baby’s tiny and developing liver too. This is because alcohol passes easily through the placenta.
The result is not just liver damage, however, and can include some pretty catastrophic issues. For example, it is known and documented that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can:
- Cause the condition known as FAS or fetal alcohol syndrome. This is characterized by delayed fetal growth, facial disfigurement, and problems with the brain and spinal cord. This means your child may have a very low IQ, ADHD, and ongoing emotional disorders because you had to have a drink or two;
- Bring about heart, brain or major organ defects;
- Can lead to a premature delivery which comes with a lot of potential health problems that can even include death;
- Might lead to sleeping problems and problems with feeding or nursing;
- Lead to learning disabilities and speech or language problems; and
- May be a factor in vision and hearing problems tool
How can you avoid all of these potentially nightmarish issues? Easy – make sure there is no alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Now, before you say that your mother or sister had a baby that is perfectly fine even though a glass of wine was consumed each day, remember that all pregnancies are different. You may drink once or twice and have a profoundly disabled child because of it. Really, is it ever worth such a risk?
Now, if you accidentally drank before knowing you were pregnant the likelihood of long-term problems is very low, but should not be overlooked. As soon as you discover you are pregnant you have to talk with your doctor about your risks and how to determine if there have been any problems.
Because you are likely to participate in prenatal care, you will be on top of any possible issues, so this is not something to become terribly worried about. If, however, you are aware of pregnancy and still drink, you may have a problem.
There are many ways to get help if you are struggling with alcohol consumption during pregnancy. There is no shame in seeking support from professionals who recognize that you are making an effort to control the situation. If the father of the child is also struggling with alcohol issues, it may be best for you to seek treatment together or to develop some “team” plans to help with avoiding alcohol consumption.
Pregnancy is only nine months at most and it should be simple enough to stop drinking alcohol to ensure a baby’s health. If you find that this is a serious problem for you, get help as soon as possible to limit any damage or harm.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon and writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.