Sober living

Alcohol and Pregnancy

Researchers are continually learning more about alcohol and pregnancy. While we know any drinking during pregnancy can be risky, we don't have a full picture of the effects of alcohol in early pregnancy. When you drink while pregnant, the alcohol quickly travels through your bloodstream, crosses the placenta, and reaches your baby. Your baby's body breaks down alcohol more slowly than yours does, so your little one may end up with a higher level of blood alcohol, and be exposed to alcohol for a longer time than you would be.

alcohol during pregnancy

However, if you cut down or stop drinking altogether, your baby will start to grow at a normal rate. Stopping drinking at any point during pregnancy can be beneficial. However, in some instances, the effects of heavy drinking on your baby cannot be reversed. If you drink, some alcohol will pass through the placenta to your baby. The more you drink the greater is the risk of harm to your baby.

Birth Control

The risks from heavy alcohol use and binge drinking have been well established. The risks for occasional use of lower amounts of alcohol are less clear. Alcohol has had a long-standing role in culture over time in relation to social connectedness and relaxation. However, alcohol during pregnancy overconsumption is linked to a multitude of serious health and social problems, including adverse events such as motor vehicle crashes, violence, unemployment, broken relationships, and unstable housing. During the third trimester, your baby will be growing rapidly.

One study found no association with alcohol consumption before 15 weeks of pregnancy and low birth weight or premature birth. Alcohol exposure before birth may harm one child more than another. You could have one child that is born healthy and another child born with problems. Some intellectual and behavioral problems related to FASD may not be apparent initially and can appear at any time during childhood. And if you’re concerned that you are drinking too much and feel that you cannot stop — during your pregnancy or at any other time — talk with your doctor. Experts say that women with certain risk factors should be especially careful about avoiding alcohol while pregnant.

Official guidelines about drinking — even in very early pregnancy

Babies have an increased chance of going through withdrawal if they have been exposed to alcohol close to delivery. Symptoms of withdrawal can include involuntary shaking movements (tremors), increased muscle tone, restlessness, and excessive crying. Studies have reported higher rates of stillbirth among those who drink alcohol during pregnancy. Drinking may also cause the baby to grow smaller than expected. Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect.

The best thing you can do for your baby is to avoid further use of alcohol during your pregnancy. -Universal alcohol screening and brief intervention is recommended in primary and obstetric care settings. -Use these resources for applying screening and brief intervention in your practice.