When getting pregnant for the first time, it can seem like you’re offered with lots of information. Different magazines, books, and websites tell you what you should do, and what not, for the next nine months.
Understandably, it can be tough to know where to head for some trustworthy advice. This is especially true when it comes to finding the right advice about drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Read this article for a clearer perspective.
Not consuming alcohol is the best advice:
The more you drink, the greater the risk. Drinking alcohol at any stage of your pregnancy can be harmful to your baby. This is the reason why the alcohol unit guideline advises pregnant women not to consume alcohol at all during pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant or about to become one, you’re also not advised to drool over alcohol. If you are already pregnant and drank only a little amount of alcohol in the initial stages of pregnancy, the risk of harm to your baby is low. Though, if you still are worried, immediately talk to your GP or midwife.
Advice of NICE on Miscarriage
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the independent organization accountable for providing essential national guidance on promoting good health as well as preventing and treating ill health.
NICE advises that the risks of miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy mean that it’s particularly essential for women not to consume alcohol at all during this period. However, it is also necessary to understand that alcohol consumption carries serious health risk throughout the whole pregnancy and not only for the first trimester.
Effects of drinking alcohol on your baby’s health during pregnancy:
During pregnancy, the alcohol in your blood quickly goes through the placenta and the umbilical cord to your baby in the womb. The placenta develops in your womb (uterus) and supplies the baby with oxygen and food through the umbilical cord. Thus, drinking any amount of alcohol at any time during pregnancy can cause harm to your baby’s developing brain and other organs. In fact, no amount of alcohol intake has been proven safe during pregnancy.
What could it do to your growing baby?
Premature birth. This is when you give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature babies may suffer from serious health problems at birth and later in childhood.
Brain damage, complications with growth and development
Birth defects, such as hearing problems, heart defects or vision problem. Birth defects can change the shape of one or more body parts. They can complicate your baby’s overall health.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (also known as FASDs). Children with FASDs may suffer from a range of problems like intellectual and developmental disabilities. They may also face problems or delays in their physical development.
Binge drinking during pregnancy can increase your chance of giving birth to a baby with FASDs.
Low birthweight (LBW), when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
Miscarriage, when a baby dies in the womb before 20-21 weeks of pregnancy.
How to deal with alcohol during pregnancy?
Some helpful tips to help you stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy:
Plan to drink other things, like the fruity drink or water.
Try staying away from situations or places where you usually drink.
Dump all the alcohol out your home.
Tell your family and friends that you have stopped drinking during pregnancy, and ask them to help and support you.
If you need help to completely stop drinking, follow these tips:
Consult your healthcare provider about alcohol treatment programs.
Sign up with an Alcoholics Anonymous support group.
Drop a visit to the National Council of Alcoholics.
If you can resist drinking alcohol during pregnancy, you can’t have FASDs or any other health complications caused by alcohol. Thus, if you’re pregnant or giving it a thought, don’t drink alcohol. Added to this, if you aren’t able to overcome this habit, seek appropriate suggestions as well as help from your healthcare provider.