Finding out you are pregnant can bring forth many emotions, including nervousness, excitement and joy. In your desire to celebrate, you may be tempted to consume alcohol. Understanding, however, the risks and problems associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy can help you decide if it is worth the risk.
How does alcohol affect my baby’s development?
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause several problems for your developing fetus. Physically, your baby may be born with facial features that appear to be out of place. Children born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) usually have small heads and narrow eyes. In addition, they will have a flat-faced appearance. Children affected by their mother’s consumption of alcohol may also be smaller of stature when compared to children the same age. According to the Healthwise website, if you consume alcohol during your pregnancy, you can cause your child to be born with birth defects, including problems with the development of the urinary tract, heart, bones and ears.
How much alcohol is safe during pregnancy?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, no amount of alcohol has been deemed safe to consume during your pregnancy. In addition, it has been established that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol during your pregnancy can cause your fetus to develop FAS, which can cause your child a lifetime of problems physically, mentally and emotionally.
According to the Healthwise website, binge drinking even once during your pregnancy can lead to serious fetal complications. “Heavy” drinking is defined by the website as having more than five drinks at the same occasion.
What is fetal alcohol syndrome?
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is caused when a pregnant woman drinks excessively, according to the March of Dimes website. FAS is characterized by certain symptoms that can include learning issues, mental and emotional problems, mental retardation, physical deformities and birth defects.
What are the risks of drinking while pregnant?
In addition to the risk of FAS if you drink during pregnancy, you also place your fetus at risk to miscarry or to be born prematurely. According to the March of Dimes, if you binge drink during your pregnancy, you increase the risk of having your baby delivered stillborn. The March of Dimes website reports that a 2008 Danish study determined you will have a 56 percent higher chance of a stillborn birth if you drink more than three times in a week.
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