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Dangers of Alcohol during Pregnancy

By mrphantom Aug 05, 2013 907 Words
Alcohol and pregnancy
When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, the alcohol travels through her blood and into the baby's blood, tissues, and organs. That means when a pregnant mom has a glass of wine, her baby has a glass of wine, too. Drinking alcohol can harm the baby's development. Alcohol breaks down much more slowly in the baby's body than in an adult. That means the baby's blood alcohol level remains increased longer than the mother's. This is very dangerous, and can sometimes lead to lifelong damage. Dangers of Alcohol During Pregnancy

Drinking a lot of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome in the baby. Fetal alcohol syndrome refers to a group of birth defects found in children born to mothers who drink too much alcohol. Symptoms can include: * Behavior and attention problems

* Heart defects
* Changes in the shape of the face
* Poor growth before and after birth
* Poor muscle tone and problems with movement and balance * Problems with thinking and speech
* Learning problems
These medical problems are lifelong and can range from mild to severe. Complications seen in the infant may include:
* Cerebral palsy
* Premature delivery
* Miscarriage or stillbirth
How Much Alcohol is Dangerous?
There is no known "safe" amount of alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol use appears to be the most harmful during the first 3 months of pregnancy; however, drinking alcohol anytime during pregnancy can be harmful. Alcohol includes beer, wine, wine coolers, and liquor.


One drink is defined as:
* 12 oz of beer
* 5 oz of wine
* 1.5 oz of liquor
How much you drink is just as important as how often you drink. * Even if you don't drink often, drinking a large amount at one time can be quite harmful to the baby. * Binge drinking (5 or more drinks on one occasion) greatly increases a baby's risk of alcohol-related damage. * Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol when pregnant may lead to miscarriage. * Heavy drinkers (those who drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day) are at greater risk of giving birth to a child with fetal alcohol syndrome. * The more you drink, the more you raise your baby's risk for harm. Do Not Drink During Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant should avoid drinking any amount of alcohol. The only way to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome is to not drink alcohol during pregnancy. If you did not know you were pregnant and drank alcohol, stop drinking as soon as you find out. While it is unlikely that the occasional drink you took before finding out you were pregnant will harm your baby, the sooner you stop drinking alcohol, the healthier your baby will be. Try replacing alcoholic drinks with their nonalcoholic counterparts: for example, you might opt for a nonalcoholic pina colada instead of the real thing. If you cannot control your drinking, avoid eating or drinking around people who are drinking alcohol. Pregnant women with alcoholism should join an alcohol abuse rehabilitation program and be checked closely by a health care provider throughout pregnancy.

Abbey Drinking while pregnant: Finally, proof that it's okay?

Five new Danish studies suggest that it probably isn't so bad if a mommy-to-be has a glass of wine or beer from time to time, though it could be risky

New studies reveal that even when pregnant mothers drank up to eight drinks in a week, their child's overall IQ, attention span, and self control were not negatively affected.

For decades, pregnant women were told to abstain from alcohol entirely, no ifs, ands, or buts. But a set of new studies from Denmark add to the mounting canon of evidence suggesting that, yes, it may in fact be perfectly okay for soon-to-be-mothers to have a drink once in awhile. But don't raise your glasses quite yet. Here's what you need to know if you choose to imbibe: How were the studies conducted?

Five new papers published in the obstetrics and gynecology journal BJOG took a look at more than 1,600 Danish women and their children, and compared kids born to nondrinkers with those who had parents that could be classified as light drinkers (one to four drinks a week), moderate drinkers (five to eight drinks a week), and heavy drinkers (nine or more a week). Binge drinking was also classified as five drinks in one session. Researchers controlled for outside factors, such as smoking and the mother's intelligence.  What did they find?

By the time children reached age 5, light, moderate, and strangely enough, even binge drinking while pregnant didn't have any discernible effect on a child's overall IQ, attention spans, or self-control. The same wasn't true for women classified as heavy drinkers: Their 5-year-olds had noticeably shorter attention spans compared to their counterparts. (It's worth noting that an alcoholic drink in Denmark is defined as 0.4 ounces of pure alcohol; in the U.S. it's 0.6 ounces.)   Are the findings definitive?

The results are hardly the last word on the matter; many doctors still warn against potential disorders that the study may not have accounted

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