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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

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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