August 28, 2011

Drinking and Pregnancy – How They are Related

drinking during pregnancyWomen need to mark their line during pregnancy. It is this time when she requires utmost personal care. Drinking alcohol is as bad as smoking during this tender time of your life. It may leave several ill-effects to your unborn child.

The first thing is fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol can pass the placenta and can be detected in the fetal blood. Women who go on impulsive drinking will deliver a baby with this dangerous congenital anomaly and the babies may require support for lifetime for several ailments. The fetal development will be sluggish, the spine may become curved and there may be congenital dislocation of large joints (knees, hips). There may be facial abnormality in the form of cleft lip or cleft palate, dropping eyelid and slender upper lip. Poor eyesight and lazy eye are also evident in these babies. There is congenital holes in the heart (ASD/VSD), developmental anomalies in the kidney and the spinal cord. Usually the baby dies during the first five years with fetal alcohol syndrome. If the baby survives in the first decade, the issues of learning problem, attention deficit disorder and poor coordination with friends and family members can be observed.

The alcoholic mother will deliver a premature baby (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy) and the rate of miscarriage is also 10 times higher than the non-alcoholic mother. A study conducted in Denmark also confirmed that women on binge drinking are having 56% more chance of stillbirths than non-alcoholic one.

The blood alcohol level should be zero during the entire period of pregnancy. That means that you must not drink even a drop of alcohol. The chance of fetal alcohol syndrome is greatest with women who use to take seven or more drinks per week. But it does not suggest that you can take a drink once on a while. Every drop of alcohol can pass the placenta and can cause harm to your baby.