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.
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!
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!
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.
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.