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Alcohol During Pregnancy

There is no term as ‘safe’ amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during the very start of pregnancy is said to have several symptoms that is harmful for both mother and the baby. Furthermore, the effects of alcohol are even greater in women who smoke and consume caffeine from a poor diet. It can lead to miscarriage, still births and premature labor.

This is what happens when you consume Alcohol regularly?

When you take even a small amount of alcohol, it immediately reaches your baby across the placenta via the blood stream. Alcohol ones reached takes longer time to metabolize in the fetus, since the liver is not fully developed. It can permanently damage the blood cells and growing organs including the brain. Heavy drinking can lead to damage in nervous system.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, alcohol interferes with the migration and organization of brain cells, which can create structural deformities within the brain. If continued until third trimester, chances are that it can create neurological and functional impairments like memory, leaning, vision and auditory information.

The term for all these problems is called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is described as physical and mental defects that can develop due to regular alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Several studies have also shown associations with low birth weight with alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of FAS listed below may range from mild to severe:

  1. Changes in the body

  2. Poor growth and development of fetus.

  3. Poor muscle tone

  4. Improper balance and coordination

  5. Learning difficulties

Here are some tips for giving up alcohol:

  1. Try to replace alcoholic drinks to non alcoholic beverages.

  2. Avoid situations where you usually drink, like parties or bars.

  3. Ask your spouse, family and friends to help you stay away from alcohol.

  4. You can ask your friends or family members who smoke to not to do it in your presence.

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, say NO to alcohol. Every pregnant mother’s body is different, so remember that drinking alcohol may harm your baby more than you.

If you have problem quitting alcohol, talk to your physician who can further refer you to a counselor.

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