Pregnancy is a huge responsibility and not just merely means giving birth to baby but it deals to give birth to a baby under best available environment to ensure healthy and uneventful overall course.
Alcohol during pregnancy is something most people don’t consider a huge problem and even those who do, can’t get rid of this addiction or dependence. Vast majority of women are so stressed out in pregnancy due to weight gain, upcoming responsibility, hampered social life, mood swings, physiological illness and many other factors that they rely on alcohol just to get dozed off from the stress, without knowing how harmful can alcohol consumption be during pregnancy for the baby.
Alcohol during early has been implicated as one of the main culprit in a variety of birth defects and anomalies, which affects overall health of baby throughout her life.
Alcohol during pregnancy has been a very extensive topic of debate since it is a very commonly abused substance and people belonging to all socioeconomic statuses consume alcohol, plus it is not even considered a bad habit in most western countries.
Effects of consumption of alcohol during pregnancy:
It has been discovered that consumption of moderate to severe quantities of alcohol during pregnancy leads to fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a multitude of symptoms that manifests itself as:
- Hypo-plastic (underdeveloped) facial features. This involves a wide variety of defects like small head (microcephaly) and other facial defects.
- Low birth weight and constitutional delay during and after birth, which involves mild to moderate mental retardation and low I.Q levels. Mental retardation may manifest itself soon after birth or it may be delayed for a few months.
- Congenital heart defects involve a variety of endocardial cushion defects that may lead to valvular abnormalities or conduction abnormalities.
Some important guidelines:
- It should be kept in mind that there is no minimum recommended amount or safe dose for the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Even the minor amounts have been associated with birth defects.
- It is not even safe for mother to consume alcohol during pregnancy as due to a lot of physiological and hormonal imbalances, liver enzymes are already elevated and with alcohol consumption, chances of full blown liver failure are very high and may be life threatening, both for mother and the child.
- Alcohol during pregnancy has been linked to a variety of mental, physical and developmental defects and issues as whatever the mother is going to consume during pregnancy will reach baby via placental circulation.
- Those who are social drinkers must know that binge drinking is extensively more harmful than regular drinking,
Effects of Alcohol during pregnancy are more grave, if alcohol is consumed during the first trimester or first 3 months of pregnancy since it is only during this time that foundation or infrastructure of must organ systems is being laid. Facial structures and limbs are most likely to be affected with alcohol consumption during pregnancy and therefore must be avoided at all costs.