Alcohol and Pregnancy


Since drinking even the smallest amount of alcohol during pregnancy is considered harmful, it is universally recommended that women planning to become pregnant should stop drinking alcohol at that point and right through the pregnancy itself. Exposing the fetus to alcohol during pregnancy carries with it the risk of a whole range of physical abnormalities, including typical fetal alcohol syndrome and the perinatal morbidity associated with it. Fetal alcohol syndrome, with its possibility of abnormal facial features, intrauterine and postnatal growth deficiencies and neurodevelopmental disorders, can occur with the regular consumption of alcohol, no matter how small. Neurodevelopmental disorders are particularly disturbing and include motor, learning and language deficits and a lower I.Q. (intellectual quotient). These conditions can give rise to attention, hyperactivity and behavioural problems. There is therefore no "safe" level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and it is recommended that alcohol be completely avoided during that period or that only tiny amounts be consumed very rarely.

There is a saying that there should be moderation in all things. Where pregnancy is concerned, moderation means "not a drop".

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