Posts Tagged ‘fetal alcohol spectrum disorder’

Pregnant? Drinking alcohol is not worth the risk to your baby

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

alcoholThere is NO safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy and there is NO safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, the best thing to do for your baby is to avoid alcohol.

When you drink alcohol during pregnancy, the alcohol in your blood quickly passes through the placenta and the umbilical cord to your baby. According to the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), “When you drink alcohol, so does your developing baby. Any amount of alcohol, even the alcohol in one glass of wine, passes through the placenta from the mother to the growing baby. Developing babies lack the ability to process or metabolize alcohol through the liver or other organs.”

Drinking any amount of alcohol at any time during pregnancy can harm your baby’s developing brain and other organs. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases your baby’s chances of:

  • Premature birth. This is when your baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature babies may have serious health problems at birth and later in life.
  • Brain damage and problems with growth and development.
  • Birth defects, like heart defects, hearing problems or vision problems.
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (also called FASDs). Children with FASDs may have a range of problems, including intellectual and developmental disabilities. They also may have problems or delays in physical development. FASDs usually last a lifetime.
  • Low birthweight (also called LBW). This is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Being low birthweight can cause serious health problems for some babies.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Stillbirth.

The good news is that FASD is entirely preventable. If you stop drinking alcohol before and during pregnancy, you can prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and other conditions caused by alcohol.

Remember, there is no safe amount, no safe time, and no safe alcohol during pregnancy. If you need help to stop drinking, talk to your health care provider. And if you are looking for some fun, non-alcoholic alternatives, check these out.

Questions? Email AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Still no safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

 

During my pregnancy, I have lots of family and friends who want to share thoughtful advice. I know people mean well, but it’s sometimes confusing when their thoughts conflict with what other family, friends, my health provider and even my gut say. Alcohol seems to be the topic that most of my friends and family differ. Some say the occasional drink is OK; others (including my OB) say absolutely NO to alcohol.

A recent series of Danish studies are adding to the confusion. The researchers looked at several studies that tracked women during their pregnancies and followed their children up to age 5. The Danish studies suggested that the women who took part in light drinking in early pregnancy may not have caused serious problems in these children. However, the researchers warn that much more research needs to be done because there’s still no amount of alcohol that is considered safe.

So while I’m pregnant with my second baby and have the occasional friend tell me it’s OK to have that glass of red with dinner every once in a while, I say to myself, “why take the chance?” The best gift I can give my baby is a healthy start in life. And if that means I have to pass on the sangria this summer, to me, it’s worth it.

 

Alcohol awareness month

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

pregnancy-chicLots of women are aware that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects, but many do not realize that moderate or even light drinking also may harm their developing baby. In fact, no level of alcohol use during pregnancy has been proven safe – none.

Many folks think that a glass of wine is good for your heart, which may or may not be true, but it’s not good for a developing baby.  Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause a wide range of physical and mental birth defects. The term “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders” (FASDs) is used to describe the many problems associated with exposure to alcohol before birth. Did you know that each year in the United States, up to 40,000 babies are born with FASDs? It’s such a shame because these problems are totally preventable – totally. It’s so simple, just don’t drink if you’re hoping to be or are pregnant.  Isn’t a healthy baby worth waiting a few months for that glass of vino?

We’ve given tips before about partying without the booze and offer different recipes for drinks.  We wanted to remind you of them during Alcohol Awareness Month. Take these suggestions to heart to keep your little one safe.

One virgin piña colada, please!

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

pregnancy-coupleMy husband and I recently came back from our babymoon in Cancun, Mexico. With our first baby due at the end of November, our vacations will soon consist of road trips to visit with the grandparents and perhaps a trip to Disney World. So, what better way to have our last hurrah than to take a beach vacation just the two of us? While my husband never failed to order his margarita on the rocks at the swim-up bar, the bartenders already knew by looking at me that my beach beverage of choice was a virgin piña colada (without the shot of rum).

Alcohol during pregnancy is a no-no! Alcohol, even in small amounts, may harm your baby during pregnancy. Still, there are some people who believe that one or two drinks can’t hurt you. You may have even heard about a recent study from England suggesting that a little alcohol during pregnancy might be fine. But there really is no safe amount of alcohol for you to have during pregnancy. Every woman is different and alcohol affects each woman differently. While one drink might be okay for one woman during pregnancy, it could have devastating consequences for another. So, it’s best for both you and your baby to stay away from alcohol during pregnancy.

I liked my virgin beach beverages. Now, if I could only find a way to have warm weather, sunshine and live on the beach permanently… 🙂 .