What Are The Dangers Of Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is extremely dangerous. Scientific studies have proven over and over again that regular or excessive alcohol intake during pregnancy can have serious harmful effects on your baby. When a woman who is pregnant drinks alcohol, the alcohol will pass through the placenta to her baby. Because the baby’s body processes the alcohol much slower, the baby’s blood alcohol level can be higher and remain higher for longer than the mother’s blood alcohol level. No amount of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy. Every year, more than 40,000 babies in the United States are born with alcohol-related problems. These problems can include:

– Low birth weight
– vision problems
– hearing problems
– mood disorders
– slower than normal physical development
– slower than normal mental development
– slower than normal emotional development
– Deformation of the ribs and sternum
– curvature of the spine
– dislocation of the hips
– missing or damaged fingers or toes
– joint damage
– facial abnormalities
– nearsightedness
– failure of the eyes to move in the same direction, or lazy eye”
– cleft pallate
– deformities of the ears
– deformities of the interal organs
– deformities of the genital organs
– heart defects
– heart murmers
– kidney defects
– urinary tract defects
– brain abnormalities
– brain damage
– learning disabilities
– irritability
– poor coordination.

In addition to the above ailments, drinking during pregnancy will put your baby at risk for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a combination of physical and mental birth defects that will affect around 6% of babies of women who are alcoholic or binge drink during pregnancy. Babies that have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are born abnormally small and typically are not able to catch up on growth as they get older. They sometimes have small eyes, they may have a short nose or an upturned nose and small, flat cheeks. The organs of babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, especially the heart, may not form properly. Many babies with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome will have a brain that is small and abnormally formed, and most have some degree of mental disability. Many have poor coordination and a short attention span and exhibit behavioral problems.

If you have just discovered you are pregnant and you drink, stop drinking. Most studies suggest that stopping drinking even after you discover you are pregnant will considerably reduce the risks of damage to your baby. If you are considering becoming pregnant, you should probably cease alcohol consumption. In addition, many studies suggest a link between alcohol and both male and female infertility.

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