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Here’s Why Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Consume Any Alcohol

Here’s Why Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Consume Any Alcohol

If you’re pregnant, you know better than to binge drink, which is defined as having more than 4 servings of an alcoholic beverage at one setting. But can pregnant women consume alcohol in small amounts? What about just one mimosa at that brunch with your friends? Before reaching out for it, check out this article below to find out why pregnant women shouldn’t consume any alcohol.

1. You have been warned—again!

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) renewed its warning that women who are pregnant should not be consuming any alcohol whatsoever.

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So why is this important? The American Academy of Pediatrics is made up of 64,000 pediatricians, pediatric specialists and pediatric surgeons from all over the country and is considered to be one of the foremost American organizations in the area of children’s health. This warning that they issued recently is an updated, reinforced Surgeon General’s Warning (which is widely known to do its appearance on alcoholic products). This warning serves as a “best practice” guideline for doctors working with pregnant women—and also to make moms-to-be aware of the danger to their unborn baby.

Warnings like this are nothing new—they have been issued since the 1970s!

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2. You could have a baby with FASD.

Drinking during pregnancy leads to a risk of a baby being born with facial deformities and with a number of neurological issues including behavioral problems, difficulties with social interaction, and cognitive problems such as impaired memory and mathematical skills and difficulties with problem-solving. Together, this collection of birth defects is known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

There is no cure for FASD. Your child will have the deformities and the neurological problems for the rest of their lives. And according to the CDC, FASD is one hundred percent preventable—just don’t drink while you are pregnant!

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3. You are putting your baby at risk for depression.

FASD is not the only consequence your child will have to face if you drink while you are pregnant. According to patient education from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you are also putting your child at a greater risk for depression later on in life. As a matter of fact, one study found that children of mothers who drank while pregnant were at much higher risk for depression that begins in early childhood —and usually means a lifelong struggle against this mental illness.

4. You drink—and your baby drinks too.

Alcohol—in moderation—actually has many health benefits, particularly red wine which contains resveratrol, an antioxidant associated with hearth health—and the health of the brain! So why, if its good for an adult, is it bad for mom and baby? As the CDC also points out in its patient education, alcohol, unfortunately, passes from the mom’s bloodstream directly into the baby’s via its umbilical cord. So if you drink—your baby drinks too.

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An unborn baby is not able to break down alcohol the way its mother can and this alcohol can damage your baby’s nervous system before it is ever born—especially if your drink in your first trimester. The fact is that everything you eat and drink can potentially affect your baby in either a positive or negative way, that is why nutrition and abstinence from alcohol when pregnant is so important for moms-to-be.

Pregnancy can be a very stressful time for a woman—especially if she has financial or other concerns that are affecting her health. And stress is a very common cause for drinking. If you are struggling with a drinking problem and are pregnant, talk to your ob-gyn and find out what resources are available to help you kick the habit—and have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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