The ability to create and nurture life is the biggest blessing that has ever been bestowed on mankind. Giving birth to a young one is the purest form of creation. Women all over the world dream of having healthy and happy families but only special couples are blessed with absolutely healthy babies. Unfortunately, a range of imbalances, diseases and disorders have to be considered before conception. Most infections happen to children after birth. However in grave circumstances, the baby may show deformity or ill-health even before they are born – and many times, knowingly or unknowingly, mothers are responsible for making their babies fall prey to circumstances. Drinking before or during pregnancy is one such instance where babies are unconditionally exposed to the worst form of alcohol abuse – the one that happens even before birth.
What happens when you drink alcohol during pregnancy?
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy predisposes the growing baby in the womb to a multitude of disorders. So much so that doctors attribute a whole spectrum of diseases to irresponsible consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Drinking at any time during the pregnancy or even at the time around conception has shown to have serious consequences. Some common diseases associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy are –
- Premature Birth – Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may induce premature birth of the baby in which case they are born in time less than 37 weeks of gestation.
- Alcohol can cause massive damage to the baby’s developing brain.
- Alcohol may also induce birth defects in the developing baby and may cause harm to the heart, hearing or vision. Birth defects, generally speaking are disorders that are caused during birth and may include malfunctioning or distorted organs which are not physiologically fit to function in the long run.
- Mothers who drink alcohol during or before pregnancy often complain of low birth weight of their babies.
- Alcohol consumption during pregnancy may also result in miscarriage – a condition where the baby dies in the womb, even before completing 20 weeks.
- Stillbirth also is an unfortunate circumstance when the baby dies in the womb after completing 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is characterized by individuals who have intellectual or learning disabilities which mean children may have difficulty in communication, understanding and getting along with regular life to an extent that they may feel misfit for the society. FASD may also delay or be responsible for underdeveloped physiological development. FASD lasts all life and has no real cure, and is generally seen in individuals who suffered in the womb from their mothers binge drinking.
It is also noteworthy that many mothers boast of healthy babies even after drinking during their term of pregnancy, whereas some unfortunate women succumb their greatest creation to alcohol related disorders even with very little drinking. For now, with ongoing research, it has been determined that every pregnancy is different from any other – that every baby is special and there is no known way to determine the ‘safe’ limit of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Always remember to drink responsibly!