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

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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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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