Alcohol and Pregnancy and its implications for you and YOUR Baby's Health

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Alcohol and pregnancy are no compatible combination in any given circumstance. Most women soon after conception report to their healthcare provider with questions about alcohol consumption during pregnancy and its associated implications. The most important answer is the truth that no dose of alcohol is safe during pregnancy and much more, it’s better to quit drinking before becoming pregnant.

How can alcohol and pregnancy affect fetal development?

Alcohol is a drug and it complicates the entire course of fetal development. This is primarily because alcohol can pass across into the system of your growing baby in the womb; when you consume alcohol, it quickly gets into your bloodstream with about the same concentration and via placental circulation, passes into your baby circulatory system.

The detoxification system of a growing fetus isn’t as advanced as that of its pregnant mom and so the breakdown of alcohol into less toxic metabolites will take a longer time in the developing baby and as such fetal alcohol syndrome will result.

The amount of alcohol and its effects on fetal development vary from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. It’s been confirmed also that severity of risks associated with alcohol consumption is directly proportional to the intake dose. The more you drink, the greater the possible harmful effects on your growing baby.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is usually used to describe the number of facial abnormalities and other congenital defects like small sized heads, spine issues, heart defect, limbs defect and others that occur due to high alcohol levels in a baby growing in the womb of alcoholic expecting mom.

Even if an alcoholic pregnant woman is able to deliver her baby without any immediate complications, the risk is higher that alcohol-related mental damage may manifest later in the child’s neonatal life. According to a number of research studies, babies born to alcoholic moms are developmentally slow and are more likely to develop mental, behavioral or psychological problems such as below average IQ scores and delayed developmental milestones.

How can alcohol and pregnancy affect maternal heath?

Alcohol and pregnancy is an unhealthy combination with grave maternal health implications. Apart from congenital anomalies, there is a higher risk of placenta abruption, stillbirth, preterm delivery, miscarriage or abortion in alcohol associated pregnancies even with moderate alcohol drinkers.

Alcoholic expecting moms are more likely to develop severe nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy like deficiency of Vitamin B1 (fairly common in alcoholic moms) and Vitamin B12 (that causes anemia).

What can I do to prevent alcohol associated complications during pregnancy?

Alcohol and pregnancy are a weird combination as said earlier, and women of child-bearing age are advised to quit drinking even before trying to conceive. It’s easier to quit drinking lifestyle at least 3 months before getting pregnant than during pregnancy.

You’ll find the under-listed suggested tips very helpful steps to avoid or alleviate addiction to heavy drinking during pregnancy:

  • Consult with your healthcare provider for counsel regarding options that may be considered suitable to help if you have a drinking addiction problem. Feel free to confide in your doctor and ask questions about your concerns and get all the help you need.
  • Avoid the company of your alcoholic friends and social gatherings where you may have to drink compulsorily or irresponsibly. Social drinking is discouraged due to the fact that there’s no known safe level of alcohol intake during pregnancy.
  • If you can identify your primary motivation for heavy drinking or addiction, find other substitute means of satisfying such motivation.
  • Get yourself registered in local/nearby alcohol anonymous club so that you can get social support.
  • Seek help from relevant support agencies such as the Center of Narcotics and Drug Control in the United States.

If you’re having trouble calling alcohol a quit, ask for help or enroll in proven lifestyle changing programs out there.

Is it safe to drink non-alcoholic beverages?

Although some alcohol-dependent expecting moms choose alternatives to alcohol especially intake of non-alcoholic beverages as substitute, it’s important to know that the term non- alcoholic is often misleading for obvious reasons.

Most commercial non-alcoholic drinks have substantial quantity of alcohol (less than half a percent) and when such is consumed in large quantities, the risk is equivalent to an alcohol-rich drink. Besides, the slightest amount of alcohol exposure to the fetus can be harmful.

It’s preferable you go for drinks labeled “alcohol-free” or “kosher” instead of the common “non-alcoholic” label. A different research studies revealed that a lot of beverages contain greater amounts of alcohol than mentioned quantity of label.

In addition, you’ve to be cautious of using over-the-counter or non-prescribed drugs. Quite a number of drugs contain alcohol especial some cold and cough medications with as much as 30% alcohol composition.

What if you consumed few drinks before knowing that you’re pregnant?

If you’ve been drinking alcohol in the first few weeks after conception, there is no need to panic as a quit at any good time can go a long way to ensure your baby well-being.

Alcohol and pregnancy cannot go hand-in-hand without causing significant damage to the growing baby. The safest thing to do is to avoid alcohol during pregnancy. In case of any expecting mom diagnosed of intrauterine-growth retardation, putting a stop to alcohol intake and other teratogens or substances is inevitable.

Moreover, it’s needful for every alcoholic woman trying to conceive or expecting to quit drinking as early as possible to ensure a complication-free pregnancy and delivery.

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