The harmful effects of alcohol are quite profound and the results are abnormal facial features, spinal defect, cognitive disabilities, heart defects, small head size and delay in speaking and so on.
To be on the safe side, you should not consume any amount of alcohol during pregnancy. The more you drink, the greater the danger it poses to the fetus. Alcohols such as beer, liquor or wine are not safe during pregnancy. Also, food that contains alcohol might also be harmful to consume while expecting.
Some women argue that a little amount of alcohol during pregnancy won’t hurt, but the truth is, bodies vary. A woman’s body might contain enzymes which are high enough to break down alcohol, but the other woman’s low-level enzymes may not be able to do the same. So probably the first woman had drunk a bit of alcohol during pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby, but it is different from the second.
How Alcohol Gets To Your Baby.
The alcohol you drink mixes up with your blood which flows to your placenta. The blood then carries it to your placenta which is where your baby gets its food and oxygen supplies. Once the baby comes in contact with the alcohol in your system through the umbilical cord, it could cause a lot of harm such as poor growth and central nervous system damage.
Harmful effects of alcohol during pregnancy.
Apart from premature birth and congenital disabilities such as hearing and vision impairments, the following are the harmful effect of alcohol on your pregnancy:
Miscarriage and Stillbirth.
Think about how painful it is for you to lose a child you carried for probably seven months or to the point of delivery. A pregnant woman who drinks during pregnancy might go through this pain.
You could run the risk of giving birth to babies that could develop health issues later in the future. According to some research, babies who were birthed by alcoholic mothers are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior in the future. It also affects the brain cells of your child.
Low birth weight.
There are various studies which have reported that pregnant women who drank up to four units of alcohol in a week gave birth to babies who were smaller than women who didn’t drink at all.
Central Nervous System Damage.
This is a severe case of alcohol which includes behavioral problems, vision and hearing impairments and intellectual disability and so on.
FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder).
As the name implies, it is the disorder that stems from alcohol. FASD which stands for fetal alcohol syndrome disorder is a disorder in which women who binge drink cause for their children. It occurs with children whose mothers drank up to 4 units of alcohol (one unit is the same as half a pint of beer, cider or lager) every week while pregnant with them.
Children born with this disorder experience small size head, low body weight, hyperactive behavior, poor memory, difficulty in math problems, speech and language delays, inability to focus, stunted growth, poor coordination, abnormal facial features, learning disabilities and so on.
Abnormal facial features are common in the children of women who drink alcohol in their first trimester while other problems are caused by drinking during the second and third trimester. Women are continuously advised to stop drinking even at their third trimester because the brain keeps growing all through the pregnancy and if a woman stops drinking, the damage to the brain might not be as severe as those who continued drinking to the point of delivery.
A lot of pregnant women get scared that they might have taken a glass or two in their first trimester before they realized they had conceived. Although the effect of the mistake is not known, it is surely not as adverse as the woman who kept drinking well into the second trimester.
To be safe, it is advisable for women who do not use contraceptives before or after sex to not drink alcohol at all because you might conceive at any time which could put your unborn child at risk.
Having a child with a ridge between the nose and the upper lip isn’t a good sight to behold and knowing that your inability to give up alcohol was the major cause could be depressing.
Some researchers have claimed to find very little evidence connecting light drinking with any complication such as congenital disabilities, developmental delay, impaired intelligence, etc. they still advise women not to consume alcohol. This is because, although they said light drinking would cause no harm, they are still not sure how much classifies as light drinking.
In essence, what this means is that pregnant women should abstain totally from alcohol no matter the amount because as they drink alcohol, the baby in the womb also drinks and the more they drink, the greater the risk. Pregnant women who are on medication, are suffering from liver diseases or have a history of addiction should not even try taking any amount of alcohol.
Nine months isn’t much sacrifice to make to bring a clean baby into the world without making him and even you go through trauma. When the baby has a heart defect or any other health complications, a lot of your hard earned money will go into hospital bills and surgery when you should be saving it up for sending the child to college. If you crave that alcohol taste, you can look for alternatives. For example, if you love sweet alcohol, you could drink a peace and pineapple cold tea and drink it with ice cubes, or if you like the sour or bitter type, you can mix up apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon juice and any other sour tasting ingredient and fix yourself a drink.
If you are finding it hard to quit alcohol and you probably didn’t know about the harmful effects of drinking during pregnancy, then you should make a conscious effort of stopping it. There are different agencies and support groups that are available to help you go through the process. You can check out their websites before calling them.
Consult your doctor and he could tell you how to get professional help