If you are addicted to alcohol during pregnancy, then get rid of the habit at the earliest. Read this article to know about all the harmful effects.
If you are into the habit of drinking alcohol regularly, then please make a sincere effort to stop drinking alcohol when you are pregnant, at least for the sake of your baby, developing inside your womb. Whatever you eat and drink flows to your baby and affects his development directly. So when you drink alcohol, it passes on to your baby and this is extremely detrimental for his health. It can cause abnormalities and deformities after birth.
Effects of Drinking
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy damages the health of both the mother as well as the baby. The fetus gets exposed to alcohol as the alcohol gets transferred quickly from the mother’s blood to the baby through the placenta. A little amount of alcohol consumed regularly during the first trimester can cause serious damage to the baby. Check out the following effects of alcohol on your baby.
- Low birth weight
- Hearing problems
- Mood disorders
- Vision problems
- Slower physical development
- Deformation of the ribs and sternum
- Decreased mental development
- Curvature of the spine
- Dislocation of the hips
- Joint damage
- Missing or damaged fingers or toes
- Facial abnormalities
- Cleft palate
- Failure of the eyes to move in the same direction known as ‘lazy eyes’
- Heart murmurs
- Deformities of the internal organs
- Deformities of the genital organs
- Heart defects
- Brain abnormalities
- Learning disabilities
- Urinary tract defects
- Poor coordination
- Strange behavior and irritability
- Slower emotional development
Other Birth Defects
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the most common hazard faced by the developing fetus due to drinking while pregnant and the defects inbred in the child are irreversible. This includes a wide range of physical and mental birth defects due to exposure to alcohol. Sometimes pregnant mothers do not realize that moderate drinking while pregnant is also harmful to the fetus. The effects of drinking while pregnant range from mild to severe. All the disorders mentioned in the list above are symptoms of FAS.
The newborn babies are abnormally small and have peculiar facial features. They have small eyes, a very thin upper lip and a smooth skin covering the groove between nose and upper lip. Malfunctioning and deformed heart is also caused due to FAS. It is often observed that a baby with FAS has a small and retarded brain. They also have behavioral problems with criminal bent of mind. Thus the baby is born with a combined mental and physical disorder. FAS is one of the most common cause of mental retardation in newborn babies. The statistics laid down by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 1000 – 6000 babies in the United States are born with FAS.
Other types of FAS includes alcohol-related birth defects (ARBDs) and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorders (ARNDs). In ARBD’s birth defects occur in the organ systems like heart, liver, kidney, ears, eyes and bones. Babies suffering from ARNDs have learning and behavioral problems due to prenatal exposure to alcohol. They also have haltered speech, language delays, low memory, psychological disorders, and give poor performance in school. Alcohol consumption during the first trimester mainly causes ARBDs. It is because during this phase organ formation takes place. While drinking alcohol during any stage of pregnancy can cause brain disorders.
Alcohol addiction during pregnancy also increases chances of miscarriage independent of the stages of pregnancy. However accidentally drinking while pregnant doesn’t cause damage only if you refrain yourself from consuming it the next time.
No levels of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Mothers who drink heavily during the first trimester are at a higher risk of suffering from anxiety and depression than mothers who are moderate drinkers. Heavy alcohol consumption during the third trimester causes aggressive patterns of behavior in the child. The chances of health related risks increases with the increase in the dose of alcohol.
At any time, drinking alcohol is deemed to be harmful for the baby. Every women who is used to drinking regularly should definitely STOP drinking if they are pregnant. I guess there is no mother in this world who wouldn’t love to have a safe pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. Isn’t it? Just say NO to alcohol!