Drinking alcohol during pregnancy could affect your baby’s normal development
Experts have yet to determine what is a safe amount of alcohol to drink while you are pregnant. To be safe, it may be a good idea to avoid alcohol altogether.
Interestingly, women who are expecting often lose their taste for alcohol, so giving up might be easy even for regular drinkers. However, if you are still struggling to get your alcohol intake down to zero, here are some practical tips which may help you during pregnancy.
Your baby is developing and growing every day of your pregnancy. Whether it’s the head forming at Week 7, thumb sucking at Week 20, or practising breathing at Week 32, the changes that happen over this short period of 40 weeks are quite amazing.
At any stage of your pregnancy, drinking alcohol affects your baby’s development and can lead to the following:
When you drink, alcohol reaches your unborn child’s bloodstream through the placenta. While your body can efficiently deal with alcohol, your baby’s growing system cannot. Because a fetus’ brain is developing very rapidly, this interrupts the formation of a complex system of cells in the brain.
Heavy drinking during pregnancy is associated with FAS, a disorder which occurs in infants. Babies with FAS have:
Your doctor or specialist should know if your child has FAS through a series of physical examinations. There is currently no medical treatment for this disease, and the management of FAS lies in special education programmes and behaviour therapy for the child.
FAS is a tragic but preventable disorder. It can be avoided if you don’t consume any alcohol at all – while you’re pregnant or even if you are trying to get pregnant. If you think you may have an alcohol addiction, then you may want to think about getting help.
While drinking alcohol during breastfeeding may not cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, it does disrupt your baby’s healthy development. That’s because whatever you drink or eat passes to your child through breastmilk. Excessive alcohol use during nursing can also disrupt the flow of your breastmilk, so it’s best not to consume alcohol while breastfeeding.
Remember, during your pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding, you are the only source of nutrition for your baby. So eat and nourish yourself for a healthy baby.
Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides for a healthy pregnancy.
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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