We often hear people saying stuff that you should abstain from alcohol when pregnant, don’t drink booze throughout your pregnancy, etc.—but have you ever thought about why you shouldn’t drink while pregnant?
The reason lies in its ultimate effects. It is not only harmful to the mother, but it imparts various problems to the developing fetus too. From slowed growth to miscarriages, there are numerous harmful effects to consider.
Want to unleash the Top Reasons why you shouldn’t drink when pregnant? Then without any further ado, dive into the next section.
Is Drinking Alcohol Harmful in Pregnancy?
Undoubtedly, yes, drinking alcohol when pregnant is exceptionally harmful. At that time, you are risking not only your life but your babies too.
The alcohol that enters our body directly enters the fetus, leading to multiple problems. And there is no safe limit or time when you can consume alcohol throughout the pregnancy. However, if you drank in the initial two weeks when one isn’t aware of your pregnancy, the case is different.
But as soon as one learns about her pregnancy, she should cut off alcohol consumption completely to give birth to a healthy baby.
Why You Shouldn’t Drink Pregnant: Top 6 Reasons
From slowed learning capability to physical and mental defects, there are numerous ways in which drinking alcohol impacts a fetus’s health, thus making drinking when pregnant a problem for developing fetuses. A few top reasons why you shouldn’t drink pregnant are:
1. Slow Development
One of the most common effects of drinking alcohol when pregnant is that it delays the process of average growth of the infant. It has been seen that infants who were exposed to alcohol when fetuses showed slowed development and were unable to absorb an incredible amount of information that a normal child did.
Where a normal child starts to walk, talk, and do other actions at the age of 1.5 to 2 years, those individuals exposed to alcohol in the fetal stage don’t. They take comparatively more time to perform the same actions.
So, in short, drinking during pregnancy results in developmental delays in infants.
2. Difficulty in Feeding
Additionally, a few studies show that infants exposed to alcohol in their wombs have a hard time learning how to take in breastfeed. As a result, they end up losing the initial feed, which is rich in antibodies and has balanced nutrients that help babies grow faster, aid digestion, and provide the necessary nutrients.
Moreover, women habitual of drinking obviously can’t stop sipping booze even after delivery, so they can’t breastfeed their infants.
Consequently, their infants remain devoid of their mother’s milk, leading to further weakness and delayed growth.
3. Increase Risk of Miscarriage
Another possible reason why it is recommended not to drink alcohol when pregnant is that it is known to increase the risk of miscarriages. Miscarriage chances have increased by 19%. A general claim is that moderate to high drinking can result in miscarriage and stillbirths.
4. Problem in School
Yet another risk of prenatal alcohol exposure is that it results in reduced brain activity and development. As a result, those children share some learning disabilities. These include slower learning ability, difficulty reading and remembering things, etc.
However, it mainly occurs if the infant is exposed to too much alcohol in the womb.
5. Mental Disorders
Additionally, it has been found that the women who drank alcohol throughout their pregnancy, their fetuses suffered from various mental disorders like stress, anxiety, and depression in their life comparatively more than normal adults.
6. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
In addition to all of the above problems, it has been found that infants exposed to alcohol in the womb are at high risk of developing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It leads to various physical disabilities in children. For example, they are born with cleft noses, a bridge between the nose and upper lips, small-sized heads, lower body weight, decreased strength, language delays, hyperactive behavior, etc.
A few common types are:
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
- Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
And what is even more heat robbing is that there is no proper treatment for these diseases.
How Does Alcohol Reach Your Fetus? The Placenta
A common ambiguity about alcohol consumption by women during pregnancy is how it reaches the fetus and if the placenta prevents it from reaching out.
Unfortunately, the placenta doesn’t help prevent alcohol from the fetus. So, when a pregnant woman intakes alcohol, the booze passes from her stomach to the fetus via the placenta. It means that alcohol isn’t broken down even when it reaches the placenta; therefore, the concentration of booze reaching the fetus’s blood is equal to that in the mother’s blood.
Moreover, since an infant’s liver is at the initial stage and not fully formed, the baby’s liver fails to process it, resulting in various health problems and even stillbirth.
Is There Any Safe Amount To Drink While Pregnant?
No, there is no safe amount to drink while pregnant. The reason is that whether consumed in low amounts or high, it will ultimately enter the bloodstream of the fetus, thus affecting its health. The only difference is that low consumption can result in a physical or mental disorder, while high consumption can lead to marriage and stillbirth.
A Few Other Steps To Consider When Pregnant
Apart from cutting off alcohol consumption, there are several other steps to take when pregnant. These include
- Take healthy diet
- Stay active and try to exercise 30 minutes a day (but no hard-core strenuous exercises)
- Take ample sleep
- Visit doctor regularly
- Avoid losing weight
Indeed, drinking alcohol had never been safe. Let it be for the mother or the growing fetus; alcohol has various detrimental effects. It can result in miscarriages too.
Therefore, soon after one learns about her pregnancy, one should cut off drinking booze completely.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.