Drinking during week one of pregnancy

Drinking during week one of pregnancy

Whether it’s a big night out partying, a few cocktails with the girls or a quiet Friday night at home with a glass of wine to celebrate the end of the working week, most of us enjoy a tipple of some sort every now and then. And why not? After all, research has shown that all alcohol can help to reduce the risk of coronary-related conditions such as heart disease, not just red wine like is commonly thought. But what about during pregnancy? Is it medically acceptable to continue to enjoy the odd glass? Or how about socially acceptable? Well the truth is, as far as being medically acceptable goes, research tends to remain inconclusive. And as for being socially acceptable? Well, along with the breastfeeding/formula feeding debate, that’s one of the most controversial topics surrounding pregnancy and parenting.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

One thing thing that we do know for sure is that consistent binge-drinking and regular alcohol misuse can be hugely detrimental to health, whether pregnant or not. If you’ve ever woken up with a splitting headache, wondering how you managed to get home the night before, you’ll surely agree there’s no argument there. However, it is is even more of an issue during pregnancy as there’s not only yourself to think about, but your baby too.

Alcohol is one of the few substances that can easily pass through the placenta. Usually, the placenta is a clever little thing and is designed to prevent infections from crossing over the barrier and reaching the fetus. However, even with thousands of years of alcohol consumption, the placenta hasn’t evolved to the extent that it can prevent the harmful effects.

Babies born to mothers who abuse alcohol are found to be at increased risk of physical, mental and growth difficulties categorized as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Symptoms of this condition are varied and plentiful, but the most common include stunted growth, poor coordination and social and behavioral problems. Physical symptoms are also possible, including small and thin facial features and the presence of large epicanthal folds on the eyes similar to those with Downs Syndrome. Unfortunately, few babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome will overcome the condition, with many experiencing lifelong abnormal or reduced brain function.

Birth Risks & Lasting Effects: Is Alcohol To Blame?

So while we know that alcohol misuse can have devastating effects, what about moderate, sensible drinking? As alcohol has proven health benefits, can it also be beneficial during pregnancy? The Department of Health advises pregnant women to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy as research into the subject matter hasn’t concluded a definite “safe” amount. But what exactly does scientific research say about the effects of prenatal alcohol consumption? Let’s take a look, you may well find yourself quite shocked by the findings.

Firstly, let’s look at some of the less shocking research conclusions; those findings which we’d expect science to show us. As we’ve discussed, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can affect developmental growth. A 1991 study that looked at the relationship between alcohol consumption during pregnancy and infant birth weight confirmed this, reporting a definite link between moderate alcohol use and low birth rates. The study even found a steady gradient demonstrating a negative correlation between number of drinks consumed and healthy birth weights so the findings are pretty conclusive. Low weight babies are at increased risk of having underdeveloped lungs and subsequent breathing problems.

A further study conducted in France in 2010 found that alcohol use throughout pregnancy was associated with a significant increase of childhood Leukemia. Leukemia is one of the most common cancers among children and the exact causes are unknown, but research such as this study has found that maternal alcohol use could be a contributing risk factor. Worse still, a 2001 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at alcohol intake in relation to stillbirth. While the risk of this was reported as 1.37 in every 1000 births for women who consumed less than one alcoholic drink per week during pregnancy, the figure rocketed to 8.83 per 1000 births for women who consumed more than five per week.

Research of this kind is difficult to ignore and I can’t imagine any woman would put their unborn child’s health at risk simply for a quick buzz. But is that all research has to say on the matter? Actually, no. For almost every study that shows the detrimental effects of prenatal alcohol consumption, there is another demonstrating either no link or, surprisingly, benefits to enjoying the occasional glass.

A 2008 study carried out in London reported evidence supporting Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in that the findings indicated a direct link between heavy drinking throughout pregnancy and cognitive and behavioral problems in three year olds. However, the study found absolutely no link to these problems in children born to mothers who enjoyed a more sensible one or two alcoholic drinks per week. A Danish study in 2010 reported similar findings, as well as concluding that light drinking does not contribute to the risk of autism. This study actually found that women who had one binge-drinking session during pregnancy had a lower chance of delivering a child with autism, though the researchers themselves are the first to point out that this may be coincidental and much more research would be needed before a conclusion can be drawn.

Another study which has found benefits to light prenatal alcohol consumption is the 1993 Risk Factors for Antepartum and Intrapartum Stillbirth. In complete contrast to the 2001 study we looked at earlier, this study found that women who avoided alcohol completely during pregnancy were at a slightly increased risk of experiencing a stillbirth than women who drank sensibly. However, once again more research needs to be carried out before we can take this as conclusive evidence that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial.

What Is The Right Choice?

There is absolutely no doubt that alcohol misuse is dangerous for both you and your baby and should be avoided at all times, especially during pregnancy. But as for light, sensible alcohol consumption, that is something that only you can decide. The official medical standpoint on this matter is that alcohol should be avoided due to a lack of evidence of the effects. However, these are only guidelines and although it may be seen as socially unacceptable for pregnant women to enjoy the odd glass of wine, it is not illegal. If you feel comfortable in doing so, that is your decision. If you would rather abstain, that’s also your decision. Just be sure to take into account the research above to ensure you make an informed choice.

Drinking during week one of pregnancy

No matter your reason for your occasional drinking, though, there is one celebration you shouldn’t raise a drink to — pregnancy.

For many Americans, alcohol is their social drink of choice. If you’re one of them, you might sip an occasional glass of wine or beer during a celebration or get-together with friends. You might not even care much for the taste, just the social pleasure and hospitality.

No matter your reason for your occasional drinking, though, there is one celebration you shouldn’t raise a drink to — pregnancy.

Are you confused about the conflicting opinions on drinking during pregnancy? You might have heard from trusted friends, families or even doctors that you can consume small amounts of alcohol, but they may not have all the facts.

In reality, studies aren’t giving anyone a conclusive answer to this long-questioned topic. Sometimes, the research suggests that minimal alcohol has no effect, and other times the drinking causes dangerous problems.

For example, one study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology followed more than 5,500 first-time pregnant mothers. During the course of the study (2004-2011), over half of them reported drinking alcohol during the first three months of pregnancy.

Specifically, 19 percent consumed alcohol occasionally, 25 percent consumed minimally (3-7 drinks per week) and 15 percent consumed heavily (more than 7 drinks per week). After several years of gathering data, the researchers found that rates of prematurity, low birth weight and pre-eclampsia stayed similar throughout all groups.

On the other end, a more recent 2016 study researched the effects of alcohol consumption before the 32-week mark. In this study published in BMJ Open, researchers reviewed data from 26 different studies.

Unlike the previous example, these researchers saw inconsistent results on alcohol’s effects. However, they did find a correlation between light drinking during pregnancy and pre-term delivery as well as low birth weight.

For these reasons, the team recommends that expectant mothers stay away from any alcohol during the course of their pregnancy. Again, until researchers can reach a more definite conclusion on the matter, mothers simply shouldn’t take the risk.

Health Dangers to Baby

While researchers haven’t pinpointed a conclusion on safe prenatal drinking, they do know that too much alcohol holds dangerous risks for the baby. According to the CDC, these risks include:

  • Low birth weight
  • Hyperactivity
  • Sleeping/nursing problems
  • Learning disabilities/delays
  • Poor vision/hearing
  • Medical issues with the heart, kidneys or bones
  • Small head/body size
  • Abnormal facial features
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth

Why are there so many risks involved with alcohol consumption?

Any nutrients the mother takes in during pregnancy gets passed onto the baby through the umbilical cord. Unfortunately, alcohol doesn’t provide the baby with essential nutrients and raises the fetal blood alcohol level just as it does the mother. For a growing baby, that level can be toxic, leading to one or more of the above fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

How Much Is Too Much?

Despite the health risks to the baby, many expectant mothers in the U.S. still participate in drinking. In fact, according to the most recent CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) report, about 1 out of every 10 pregnant women are consuming alcohol.

Not every baby will face challenges because of a mother’s drinking. Actually, many women may be encouraged to drink because a friend or family member had a successful pregnancy while consuming alcohol.

However, the problem that medical experts continue to face is that the results are inconsistent. One contributing factor may be the level of enzymes that a mother has to break down the alcohol. Some women may have an increased level, helping them break down the alcohol more quickly and avoiding some dangers to the baby.

On the other hand, a woman with low enzyme levels may actually keep alcohol in her system for a longer time than normal. In this case, the alcohol consumption could harm the baby, and there is no way to tell which effect will happen.

In addition, it’s worth noting that major health organizations such as the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend avoiding alcohol entirely during pregnancy. Because researchers have not confirmed the safety of light drinking, pregnant mothers should heed this advice.

Many women like drinking alcohol for social pleasure and celebration. However, researchers have not been able to identify a safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy because the results can vary from person to person. Because of dangerous health problems that alcohol could cause for the baby, mothers simply shouldn’t take the risk. Keep your baby safe and stay away from drinking during pregnancy.

Smoking and Drinking during Pregnancy

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Drinking during week one of pregnancy

Drinking During Pregnancy

Drinking during pregnancy will cause a baby to be born with fetal alcohol syndrome, a health problem that causes brain disorders and spinal diseases. If you think you want to have a baby, you will need to stop drinking right away so that you won’t be tempted when you are trying to conceive. Even if you just drink on binges, you need to stop incase you do get pregnant. The birth defects that are caused by drinking during pregnancy cannot be reversed.

Some women who consume large amounts of alcohol are also at risk for a miscarriage along with having a baby that has fetal alcohol syndrome. The risks just aren’t worth it to continue to drink during pregnancy.

Even small amounts of alcohol haven’t been proven safe for a pregnant woman so it’s best to just stay away from drinking during pregnancy altogether. Prevention of birth defects from fetal alcohol syndrome is only accomplished by staying away from alcoholic drinks even before you test positive for being pregnant.

Newborn babies with fetal alcohol syndrome are often characterized by having a small head due to the brain’s retarded growth development while in the uterus. Poor brain growth is a direct result of the mother drinking alcohol during her pregnancy. Heart defects and joint abnormalities are also a direct result of drinking. Other common characteristics of babies born with alcohol fetal syndrome are small eyes, a flat spot on the face, the hands will have creases in unlikely spots, and other malformations of the face and body.

Women who are continuing to drink during pregnancy must not care about the outcome of their baby’s health. These birth defects are life threatening for the baby growing inside of them and they continue to drink anyway.

Some women have the mentality of their mother’s drank and it didn’t hurt them, but it’s not the same for every woman and every baby. If the baby is born with birth defects, it could be a life sentence of taking care of them because they won’t be able to.

The biggest way to prevent mental retardation is by not drinking during pregnancy or before you get pregnant. Many birth defects develop before a woman even knows she is pregnant. This is what makes it so important to stay away from alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. Abstinence is the best method to ensure your baby will develop properly while in your uterus.

Even if your baby is born looking completely normal, there is still a chance that if you were drinking during pregnancy, they may have a slight mental deficiency that won’t be detected for a few years.

Babies who are born with birth defects from fetal alcohol syndrome often have a hard time surviving and may even die because they aren’t thriving as a normal baby would.

Drinking during pregnancy is never a good idea, no matter how little you are planning to have. Alcoholic beverages need to be avoided at all cost until after you are done breastfeeding.

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http://www.yourduedate.com/pregnancy/alcohol-during-pregnancy/

Why drinking during pregnancy is still out

http://www.studymode.com/essays/Smoking-And-Drinking-During-Pregnancy-1638737.html

http://www.pregnancyweeks.us/drinking-during-pregnancy.html

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