Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 15, 2012

Everyone knows that pregnant women should avoid alcohol. When a woman is pregnant, she shares her blood supply with her baby through the placenta and umbilical cord. Everything a woman puts into her body passes onto the child as well. Alcohol can have a number of negative effects on an unborn baby which can lead to many different health issues during pregnancy, after the baby is born and even later on in his or her life.

Even though this information is widespread knowledge, between the years of 2008 and 2009, the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that a startling 10% of pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 44 had used alcohol in the month prior to the survey. 4.4% had done what is considered “binge drinking,” and .8% fell into the category of heavy drinkers. Sadly, this information suggests that there are many women who continue to drink through their pregnancy even though they are aware that it is harmful to their unborn child.

Recently there has been information published which states that “light” drinking during pregnancy will not cause the baby any harm. Unfortunately, everyone’s impression of what “light” drinking may be could be something entirely different than what is actually considered acceptable. The information defining “light” drinking varies from study to study, leaving the mother to choose what she feels is appropriate if she decides to consume alcohol during pregnancy. The problem with this is that it is known, for certain, that at some undetermined amount, alcohol consumption during pregnancy is definitely harmful, and causes serious problems. The only way to really protect the unborn baby is to abstain from drinking at all.

If you are thinking of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, please consider the potential side effects first. Some of these side effects include: abnormal facial features, stunted growth, poor coordination, short attention span, hyperactivity, poor memory, learning difficulties, low IQ, vision problems, hearing problems, problems with internal organs and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. These are lifelong problems that your child will have to deal with, it’s not worth the risk to drink while pregnant.

Women with an addiction to alcohol who become pregnant should seek help immediately. The more exposure the unborn baby has to alcohol, the higher the risk for problems during the pregnancy or post birth. But with help, the mother can overcome her addiction to alcohol and begin living a healthier life for her baby and herself.