Effect of Drinking Alcohol while Pregnant | How Dangerous?

  • By: Joseph Benson
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Effect of drinking alcohol while pregnant, while it has long been recognized that consuming alcohol while pregnant may be harmful to the baby, the exact amount of alcohol that must be drunk before the fetus is at risk is unknown.

Although it is common knowledge that pregnancy and alcohol do not mix, a lot of health-care professionals think that a little to moderate level of alcohol intake while pregnant is not harmful to either the mother or the baby.

Is it thus safe to drink alcohol when pregnant? Or, just to be safe, should even modest use be avoided?

Effect of Drinking Alcohol while Pregnant

Effect of drinking alcohol while pregnant

Drinking alcohol when pregnant is not healthy at all; a pregnant woman should not drink alcohol at all throughout her pregnancy or while breastfeeding since it is very risky for her and her baby, as well as causing severe malformation of the baby’s structure and tissue damage.

The consequences of too much alcohol on fetal development are well-documented and serious, thus pregnancy and alcohol are a contentious subject.

Women who use alcohol while pregnant should be aware that everything they ingest is passed on to their unborn child.

The first three months of a baby’s life are very important. There’s no need to be concerned if you had a few beers early in your pregnancy when you were still ignorant that you were expecting. The issues arise from heavy, long-term drinking.

Those who have studied pregnancy and alcohol intake to this point have been unable to identify how much alcohol consumption is hazardous.

It’s reasonable to assume that the more a woman drinks while pregnant, the greater the chance of birth abnormalities, miscarriage, mental illnesses, and growth retardation.

Drinking frequency is also a factor. Even while moderate drinking is usually safe, the safest option is to not drink at all.

In any event, any pregnant woman who is considering drinking alcohol throughout her pregnancy should speak with her doctor beforehand.

Heavy drinking has long been recognized to have negative consequences for the fetus. When a woman drinks extensively and often, she increases her chances of developing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

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FAS is more likely to develop when a woman drinks often rather than in excess. Skeletal abnormalities, such as an unusually tiny head or skull, a deformed heart, stunted development, and mental issues are some of the signs of FAS.

If you are unable to quit drinking excessively, are contemplating pregnancy, or believe you are pregnant, you should contact your doctor right once to find out what kind of help you may get to reduce your alcohol use and safeguard your baby.

If you drink lightly, such as one to two glasses of wine on occasion, your risk of FAS is greatly lowered. Alcohol isn’t the only thing to think about when it comes to your baby’s health.

Tobacco and drug usage, your nutrition, your general health, and a variety of other variables all play a role in deciding your baby’s long-term health.

Alcohol and pregnancy are typically not a healthy combo, but if you use common sense and drink in moderation, you should be OK.

While drinking alcohol while pregnant isn’t absolutely risky, it’s definitely advisable to visit your doctor and work out how to best alter your overall lifestyle to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

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Effect of Drinking Alcohol while Pregnant

Is It safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?

What actions should you take if you decide to nurse your kid to ensure that he or she gets the finest nutrition possible?

While many women are aware that avoiding alcohol while pregnant is a good idea, it seems that the post-pregnancy restrictions are a little hazier.

Following consultation with specialists, we’ve compiled a list of important information concerning consuming alcohol while nursing.

The impact of alcohol

  • Alcohol levels in a mother’s bloodstream are quite comparable to those in breast milk.
  • Between 30 and 60 minutes after consuming alcohol, or 90 minutes if you drank with a meal, levels reach their highest.
  • A unit of alcohol (a small glass of wine or half a pint of regular beer) takes two to three hours to leave a nursing mother’s breast milk.

The impact on your child

Alcohol in breast milk is likely to interrupt your baby’s sleep habits and make him or her irritable.

  • Alcohol in higher doses may have a sedative effect
  • Alcohol in breast milk has been shown to cause newborns to consume 20% less milk, according to research. The mother’s ‘let-down,’ which delivers milk to the nipple, is inhibited by alcohol.
  • As a result, newborns may need more frequent feedings and may even go on a “nursing strike” owing to the changed taste of the milk.
Effect of Drinking Alcohol while Pregnant

In moderation

Dr Wendy Jones, a pharmacist and Registered Nursing Supporter with the UK-base breastfeeding Network, believes it’s acceptable for breastfeeding women to consume alcohol “within reason,” a view backed up by La Leche League and the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs.

“An occasional glass of wine is good,” Wendy explains, “but binge drinking or frequent drinking beyond the recommended daily amounts of two to three alcohol units is detrimental to both mother and child.” “It’s best not to drink every day and save alcohol for special occasions.”

If you drink more than the recommended amount during a social gathering, you should not breastfeed. “It is best not to breastfeed for 12 hours if you feel intoxicated, especially if you have drink enough to puke,” Wendy says.

Once the alcohol has gone through the mother’s system, the alcohol will not linger in the breast milk. As a result, ‘pumping and dumping’ to get rid of the alcoholic milk isn’t essential.

Recognize your limitations

According to Geraldine Miskin, a breastfeeding consultant and former maternity nurse, first-time mothers generally prefer to forego alcohol entirely, but those who have children are more comfortable allowing alcohol in their diet.

“They know their limits and have expertise caring for little newborns and youngsters,” she explains. “Managing family demands while suffering from a headache is not in their plans.

If you have more than one kid and are having a chaotic day with no one to assist you, a glass of wine at the end of the day will keep you sane!”

Geraldine recommends that moms who do wish to drink stick to these rules:

  • Drink alcohol with a meal and right after a feed so that the alcohol may be processed before the baby has to eat again.
  • She does recommend, though, that you have at least two alcohol-free days each week: “This way, you won’t grow reliant on ‘that one glass of wine’ at the end of a tough day, which can soon turn into two or three.”

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Effect of Drinking Alcohol while Pregnant

Is abstention the best option?

Many people have opposing views about drinking and nursing. According to Janet Fyle, a professional policy adviser at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), moderate drinking sends the incorrect message to mothers.

“The RCM recommends abstinence throughout pregnancy and nursing,” Janet explains. “We feel that cumulative alcohol use may be hazardous to mother and infant, based on all the data.”

Janet believes that telling women that it’s OK to drink in moderation is really harmful, as many people do “What is the definition of moderation? It is quite simple for someone who consumes alcohol on a daily basis to cross the line.”

Mothers raising children alone without assistance, as well as those suffering from post-natal depression, may be especially vulnerable. Mothers who are breastfeeding their newborns in bed should be extra cautious.

“You must never drink alcohol if you are co-sleeping because of the risk of asphyxia,” Janet warns. “Your spouse is in the same boat.”

While the College’s official advice is abstinence, midwives are urged to examine each individual’s circumstances when advising on alcohol use.

Janet emphasizes, “We’re not attempting to instruct others on how to conduct their life. It’s not the same as saying, “I’m going to a wedding, and might I have a glass of champagne?””

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What is the greatest option for a baby?

Switching to bottle-feeding is not required for moms who like the occasional drink, according to the facts, and may deprive your infant of the advantages of breast milk.

“Breast milk from a woman who drinks a modest glass of wine or half a pint of beer (the equivalent of one to two alcohol units) every now and again is still preferable than formula milk.

Which lacks all of the immunological and other specific features we know breast milk possesses,” Wendy explains. “There’s no need to switch to formula if you know your limits with booze,” Geraldine says.

“Think about all the advantages your kid will lose out on if you stop nursing throughout the day merely to take a glass of wine at night.”

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