Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

Palate and external genitalia can be affected if the mother persists drinking. During the twelfth week, frequent alcohol exposure can negatively impact the brain development which affects cognitive, learning and behavioral skills before birth. Consumption of excessive alcohol can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which can produce irreversible lifetime changes in physical, mental and neurobehavioral development of the fetus. Alcohol during pregnancy not only affects the developing fetus, but it also has adverse health outcomes on the mother as well. It can harm the fertility of women who are planning for pregnancy.

The most profound effects of prenatal alcohol exposure are brain damage and the resulting impairments in behavioral and cognitive functioning. If you did not know you were pregnant and drank alcohol, stop drinking as soon as you learn you are pregnant. The sooner you stop drinking alcohol, the healthier your baby will be.

How is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) diagnosed?

Facial abnormalities and growth retardation need not be present. Researchers who knew nothing about the maternal consumption of alcohol during the pregnancy examined alcohol during pregnancy the 5-year-old children of those pregnancies. They performed tests on IQ, attention span, and executive functions such as planning, organization, and self-control.

The significance of alcohol to women’s identity appeared to be an important reason for continued alcohol use during pregnancy among otherwise risk averse women. Anxiety about alcohol consumption during pregnancy was not widespread. Drinking alcohol while pregnant is a leading cause of birth defects in a fetus.

What if I need help to stop drinking?

Any amount of alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome. Damage to your developing baby can happen at any point during pregnancy. All alcohol, including beer, wine, ciders and hard liquor can all cause FAS. There are no exact statistics of how many people have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder . It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose a person with FASD because of the variety of symptoms and spectrum of severity.

  • Screening pregnant women for alcohol use and referring them to treatment if needed can help women avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
  • You may not realise that drinking alcohol has become an issue if you are drinking little and often.
  • Alcohol can cause problems for your baby at any time in pregnancy, even before you know you’re pregnant.