In today’s society, it is already common knowledge that women should stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy because of the multiple effects of alcohol on the fetus. Although most don’t understand the severity of these effects. The effects alcohol can be very harmful to the unborn baby including low birth weight and lifelong health conditions.
A health condition called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is one of the most common effects of alcohol on pregnant women. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can stunt the development of the fetus during pregnancy, which has been known to cause lifelong physical and mental damage to the child.
Alcohol affects the mother and baby differently. Although the baby inside the womb is subject to the most severe risks of alcohol, the mother is still prone to certain conditions like vision and hearing problems, behavioral problems, and severe depression, just to name a few.
Any amount of alcohol consumed by the mother gets passed directly to the unborn baby. The alcohol enters the bloodstream, moves into the placenta, and then to the baby through the umbilical cord. A developing fetus cannot process alcohol the same way an adult body does. The baby’s liver cannot break down alcohol as effectively because the liver is small and not fully developed. Toxic substances can greatly damage the developing body.
The most devastating effect of alcohol abuse during pregnancy is the possibility of a miscarriage or still birth. It is a common thought that a small amount of alcohol is not that harmful, but that is incorrect. Studies show that women who drink two drinks in a one week span have almost two times the chance of having a miscarriage
Best way to have a healthy and complication-free pregnancy is to not drink alcohol at all. As soon as a woman knows is pregnant, she should immediately take precautions and refrain from consuming any substances that can harm development of the baby. If she is a heavy alcohol user, these precautions might include a medically supervised detox. Withdrawals from alcohol can be very dangerous to her, and even more so for the developing fetus.