How Drinking Impacts Your Baby
Having a baby changes everything, and some of that change starts when you are still expecting. When you are pregnant, everything you consume is passed on to your baby. This means consuming alcohol can have a direct impact on your child’s growth and well-being. When a pregnant mother drinks alcohol, the alcohol passes on to the baby and can cause physical and behavioral problems that affect the child for his or her entire life. Here’s everything you need to know about drinking alcohol while pregnant
Is Any Amount of Alcohol Safe to Drink While Pregnant?
The answer to this question is no. Even just a small amount of alcohol found in cold medication as an example is potentially damaging to your developing baby. Considering the small size of the baby, it’s easy to see why even a tiny amount of alcohol can have a significant impact. While you may hear about women who drank and their babies were fine, there is no way for you to know if the alcohol you consume impacts your baby, so avoiding it is best.
How Does Alcohol Affect a Baby?
Children exposed to alcohol in the womb can suffer developmental and behavioral problems. These are life-long issues that do not get better with time. Some babies will even be born with severe brain damage. This condition is called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or FASD, and will follow your child throughout life. This is the leading cause of developmental disabilities and is entirely preventable. Simply avoiding alcohol while pregnant is all you need to do to protect your baby from this life-long condition.
In addition to the risk of FASD, women who consume alcohol while pregnant increase their risk of stillbirth. Babies can also suffer damage to other internal organs. Babies born to mothers who drink alcohol often suffer from low birth rates as well. These are all serious issues and best avoided.
What to Do If You Are Pregnant and Have Been Consuming Alcohol
Many women consume alcohol before they know they are pregnant. While this can still affect the baby, the best course of action is to stop the moment you learn of your pregnancy. If you know you are trying to get pregnant, stop drinking alcohol immediately. It can affect the baby as early as one to two months, often before a woman knows she is expecting.
If you find that you can’t stop drinking, you may suffer from alcoholism. This is a disease that needs to be treated professionally. Reach out and get help from an alcohol treatment center so you can take measures to protect your baby’s health.
FASDs are preventable disorders that you can protect your baby from. There is always a risk of consuming alcohol while pregnant, even in the earliest days of pregnancy. Avoid this risk and give your baby the best start in life by stopping alcohol consumption and taking other measures to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.