The Harmful Effects Alcohol Can Have On Your Unborn Baby

Before you reach for that glass of wine or cold beer when you’re pregnant, perhaps think again at what you’re actually doing to your baby.  Everything that you eat or drink goes through your bloodstream and into the placenta which means that when you indulge in a wine your baby will be having a drink too.  The alcohol can then interfere with your baby’s ability to get enough oxygen and nourishment for normal cell development and there has been plenty of research to show that mothers who drink during pregnancy can cause their unborn baby serious harm.  Although it’s not known exactly how much alcohol can affect an unborn baby the safest and recommended option is to drink nothing at all.

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, otherwise known as FASD, is a term to describe a group of conditions that can occur when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy.  These conditions are not temporary – they are permanent and can affect your child for the rest of their life.  Frequent weekly drinking or binge drinking during pregnancy can greatly increase the chances of your baby developing a serious condition but women who drank very little have also been linked to FASD.

So here is a list of some of the potential problems that your newborn could face if you’ve been drinking throughout your pregnancy:

  • Kidney and urinary defects
  • Heart defects or murmurs
  • Organ abnormalities
  • Mental retardation
  • Learning disabilities
  • Short attention span
  • Irritability in infancy
  • Poor hand eye coordination
  • Small head
  • Small birth weight
  • Near-sightedness
  • Slow development
  • Limited joint movement
  • Facial abnormalities
  • Poorly formed ears
  • Genital abnormalities

This list of potential problems paints a very scary picture of what life could be like for you and your baby in the future so reconsider that drink next time you’re tempted.  Nine months might seem like a long time in the beginning but wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?

If you think you might have a problem giving up alcohol for the duration of your pregnancy then speak with your doctor or call an alcohol helpline for a confidential chat.

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