by Anai Rhoads
Alcohol is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. The alcohol circulates in the blood until it is completely broken down by the liver. It may take an hour or more for the liver to break down the alcohol for one glass of wine/beer. If you are pregnant, the alcohol in your bloodstream passes through the placenta to the baby, the baby absorbs equal amounts as you do.
A woman who drinks alcohol during pregnancy risks giving birth to an abnormal child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). A child born with FAS has a pattern of mental and physical defects.
Growth deficiency is one of the most common physical defects of FAS. Most infants with FAS have a smaller head, are shorter than normal infants, weigh less. They typically have low nasal bridges, narrow eyes, a thinner upper lip. Most of the FAS babies have heart and joint abnormalities.
Everything you eat and drink while you are pregnant affects your baby. If you drink alcohol, it can hurt your baby's growth. Your baby may have physical and behavioural problems that can last for the rest of his or her life. Children born with the most serious problems caused by alcohol have fetal alcohol syndrome. Here is a list of possible consequences due to drinking during pregnancy:
Drinking any kind of alcohol when you are pregnant can hurt your baby. A glass of wine, a can of beer, and a mixed drink all have about the same amount of alcohol.
Every pregnancy is different. Drinking alcohol may hurt one baby more than another. You could have one healthy baby, and then a baby with medical problems. You can not predict what will happen. Choosing to not drink will give your baby a fighting chance against illness.
No. These problems will last for a child's whole life. People with severe problems may not be able to take care of themselves as adults. This is a very serious condition.
First step...stop drinking. Alcohol can begin to affect a baby even when you are only 1 or 2 months pregnant.
You can get help from a doctor, nurse, social worker, pastor, or clinics and programs near you.
For confidential information, you can contact:
|Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
|National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
|6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 409
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003
|National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
|12 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
|National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
|1819 H Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20006
Anai Rhoads is a medical and political researcher/writer with a particular interest in the sanctions on Iraq and the wider effect of racism's influence in the Middle East. A vegan since 2000, she is a dedicated supporter of activities which promote animal and human rights. Originally from Greece, she now resides in Virginia, USA with her husband and their two dogs, Bijou and Eva.
Copyright © Anai Rhoads. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.