When a pregnant woman abuses alcohol, these actions could lead to several negative health effects for both her baby and herself. While some expectant mothers understand the dangers of drinking while pregnant, others might not believe there’s a risk. That’s where the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness month plays an integral role in educating and raising awareness regarding the dangers of drinking while pregnant.
The Dangers of Drinking While Pregnant
When you are developing an understanding of the dangers of drinking while pregnant, that involves knowing what could happen if an expectant mother continues to engage in alcohol abuse. When a mother consumes alcohol, it passes through the umbilical cord to the unborn baby. As a result, that could lead to a miscarriage, stillbirth, or a host of lifelong behavioral, intellectual, and physical disabilities.
The clinical name for these disabilities is referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). If a child has FASD, here are some examples of their behaviors and characteristics:
- Abnormal facial features
- Attention difficulties
- Difficulties with school, particularly math
- Low body weight
- Low IQ or intellectual disabilities
- Memory issues
- Poor judgment or reasoning skills
About Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness
First recognized as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day starting in 1999, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Month is a permanent expansion of that initiative. This initiative helps raise awareness regarding the dangers of drinking while pregnant.
If a woman is pregnant or believes that she is going to become pregnant, she should know about the dangers of drinking or alcohol abuse. Due to the risks for FASD, the recommendation is pregnant women to not drink for the following reasons:
- Any amount of alcohol could cause harm to their unborn baby
- Beer and wine, as well as any other type of alcohol, could pose a risk
- Alcohol can affect a baby’s developing body, brain, and organs throughout the entire pregnancy
- Expectant mothers are increasing their risk for miscarriage, preterm birth, stillbirth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Prevent FASD by Not Drinking While Pregnant
It’s possible to stop FASD by educating women about the dangers of drinking while pregnant. Women can start the process by having discussions with their healthcare providers about their alcohol use and their plans for having a baby.
If women are trying to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to abstain from using alcohol. That includes asking friends and family members to support that decision.
Healthcare providers work proactively to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome by performing annual screenings of all of their adult patients. That can also extend to having conversations with women regarding their chances of being pregnant. Then, if they’re drinking while pregnant, they can receive counseling, referrals to professional help, and additional help or resources.
When an alcohol use disorder is present, alcohol addiction treatment programs can help you stop drinking. From a women’s detox center to rehab programs, you can recover from addiction in a way that is safe for you and your child.
Avoiding Alcohol Abuse During Pregnancy
If you’re currently drinking and learn that you’re pregnant, then it’s time to take steps toward abstaining. The dangers of drinking while pregnant far exceed any withdrawal symptoms you might experience. Here are some practical tips you can try. If they don’t work, reach out for treatment.
- Avoid going to parties or bars where you typically drink
- Remove all of the alcohol that’s currently in your home
- Plan on drinking other things during the times you usually consume alcohol
- Talk to your family, friends, and loved ones about your need for support regarding not drinking while pregnant
Turn to Wellness Counseling Vida Entera for Help with Drinking While Pregnant
If you believe that you are pregnant or want to have a baby, now is the ideal time to learn about the dangers of drinking while pregnant. While researching this information might seem overwhelming, we’re here to help.