No mother would ever want to harm their child inside the womb, thus drinking alcohol while pregnant is not allowed during pregnancy according to American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Mixing alcohol with pregnancy may harm a developing fetus. Everything that the mother takes, the baby takes. When a mother drinks, the alcohol will pass through the mother’s blood in to the baby’s blood ending up with higher levels of alcohol more than what the mother drinks because developing fetus breaks down alcohol more moderately.
Alcohol can destroy and affects the development of the baby’s cells especially the brain and spinal cord of the baby and as little as one glass of wine can raise the odds of having a baby with defects. Not only that it may cause defects, alcohol also increases the dangers of miscarriage and still-birth. Permanent damages may also be acquired when a mother takes alcohol that may not only show after birth but may appear in adolescent stage of the child. Serious problems that may be encountered in different stages of child’s growth when mothers drink alcohol during pregnancy are:
- In infants, slow growth and delays in development, significant facial features, irritability, mental problems like retardation, neurological disorders and father attachment conflicts.
- Children aged six to eleven may have difficulties in learning, reading and problems with reduced tolerance for disappointments and insufficient social boundaries.
- Teenagers may continue to have learning problems, depression, anxiety and improper sexual behavior.
The most serious effect of drinking alcohol while pregnant is fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). This a term used by many experts to explain the variety of problems related to exposure in alcohol before birth. This is a lifetime condition distinguished by more specific number of symptoms such as:
- Facial deformities such as philtrum, a ridge between the nose and upper lip.
- Poor growth and retarded development
- Mental and brain problems
- Small heart, spine and head size,
- Vision and hearing problems
- Behavioral problems
Although heavy drinking or binge drinking can cause a lot more danger to babies health, any amounts of alcohol taken during pregnancy can put significant harm to babies inside the womb and children suspected to have symptoms of FAS must be carefully checked by a pediatrician or anyone with clinical experience. It is important for mothers to remember that the effects of alcohol intake during pregnancy are permanent and irreversible. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy has no safe time including the time before a mother knows that she is pregnant. If a mother had drink alcohol during pregnancy it is never too late, the sooner they stop drinking the lesser the risk for problems with the baby.