Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy

Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy

Drinking during pregnancy is dangerous; there is no stage of pregnancy that's safer to consume alcohol, there is no 'safe' amount to drink while a women is pregnant and the more alcohol a woman consumes just increases the risk that her baby will have problems. Binge drinking is a common form of alcohol consumption among many people today and it's the form of drinking that creates the greatest risk of FASDs according to the Surgeon General.

During pregnancy, women consuming more than 5 drinks at one time or drinking 7 or more drinks in a week are at the highest risk of FASD's. Even drinking less than this amount of alcohol during pregnancy has been known to lead to FASD's, so drinking during pregnancy is seen as being safe.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

There's no cure for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, FASDs is a cluster of conditions that are caused from alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Many conditions fall under the category FASDs, types include:

  1. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  2. Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
  3. Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)

Fetal alcohol exposure occurs when a women consumes alcohol during her pregnancy, alcohol can disrupt the fetal development at any stage in pregnancy, even before a women even realizes she's pregnant according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy is the leading cause of birth defects in the US. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause a range of developmental problems, cognitive problems and behavioral problems that can emerge during childhood at any time. Sadly these problems don't go away either, they continue for the child's lifetime.

Alcoholism and Pregnancy

Excessive drinking, which means, drinking alcohol on a regular basis or the pattern of consumption known as binge drinking can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Effects. Unfortunately these conditions are lifetime irreversible effects that can cause physical, mental and neurobehavioral birth defects.

Symptoms of Alcoholism

Progressive increases in how often and the amount of alcohol consumed can start to produce more serious medical symptoms of addiction. Individuals that abuse alcohol make drinking the central activity in their life. Alcoholism isn't easy to diagnose either, it depends on whether or not the individual is willing to be honest about their drinking patterns and attitudes.

Denial is the most common symptom of alcoholism. If the individual is willing to be honest and admit to their drinking habits an accurate diagnoses can be made but if not, it can be hard or even impossible to make an accurate diagnoses of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence.

Remember, there is no safe amount of alcohol for a woman to consume during her pregnancy. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are preventable and they will continue for a lifetime if they occu because there is no cure for FASDs.

Centers for Disease Control And Prevention
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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