Pregnant women may need to cut down or completely avoid many of their habits, for the sake of a healthy pregnancy. Alcohol consumption is one such habit which should be completely cut down.
Very high levels of alcohol consumption are found to be harmful for anyone. But the condition worsens during pregnancy as even a small amount of alcohol intake is found to harm the unborn baby. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is found to affect the baby in many ways. Alcohol consumed by the mother travels through the blood stream, crosses the placenta and reaches the baby .
Alcohol affects the baby’s ability to acquire oxygen and nourishment. Women who consume alcohol during pregnancy are prone to higher rates of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. They also give birth to premature babies and babies having very low birth weight.
Babies born to mothers who drink too much during pregnancy are seen to develop the condition known as fetal alcoholic syndrome (FAS).The disease manifests itself as a series of physical and mental defects in the baby.
Alcohol increases the risk of mental and physical abnormalities in the child. The baby might be born with an abnormally small sized head. The eye openings will be small and the eyelids will be found to be drooping. Such babies will also have the problem of near sightedness.
Deformation and also malfunctioning of many internal organs like kidneys, lungs, heart and liver is also observed. The condition is not restricted to infancy and lasts throughout the life of the baby. As the baby grows up he might also suffer from learning disability, restlessness, short attention span and sometimes even impotency.
Alcohol is also seen to cause serious damage during the time of breast feeding also. It is wise to give up alcohol during the time of breast feeding. No amount of alcohol is found to be beneficial to the baby at any time. There is no safe quantity of alcohol or safe period of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Give up the habit of alcohol consumption, adopt a healthy life style and welcome a healthy and happy baby into this world.