Pregnancy and alcohol, from a medical point of view, are equally incompatible concepts. During the formation of the fetus, the woman’s body works “for the result”, a huge daily work is carried out, which is associated with hormonal stress and proper metabolism. Any portion of alcohol has a negative impact not only on the body of the unborn child, but also on the vital organs of a pregnant woman. Why is alcohol contraindicated during pregnancy, and is there a “safe” amount of alcohol?
Alcohol before pregnancy: negative factors
Many people know how alcohol affects the body of a pregnant woman, but how dangerous is a small portion of alcohol before pregnancy? Bearing a child is a long and laborious process, coupled with the readiness of a woman’s body to respond to all hormonal changes. There is no such organ that would “stay aside” during the period of gestation. If we take into account the fact that our body perceives alcohol in any amount as a poison, then even moderate drinking can be called into question.
For a future mother, it is advisable to preserve the health and functionality of especially important organs: the liver, heart, pancreas, adrenal glands and kidneys. It is precisely these organs that are the first to fall under the negative influence of the decay products of alcohol. That is why there is only one conclusion: alcohol is categorically contraindicated before, during and after pregnancy.
Alcohol in early pregnancy: what is the risk?
Even low alcohol consumption and early pregnancy are incompatible concepts. The danger of drinking alcohol in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy is perhaps the highest. There is a risk of developing embryo defects, pregnancy fading and even its termination. The embryonic period (from conception to eight weeks) is characterized by active production of the hormone. During this period, the placenta is formed and attached to the body of the uterus, the zygote turns into an embryo, the main vital functions are laid that will maintain the pregnancy and ensure its adequate flow.
The full intrauterine development of a child inside the womb depends on factors, among which heredity dominates, negative factors from the external environment (radiation, chemical poisoning), as well as the lifestyle of the expectant mother. An exhausted body cannot provide proper nutrition and development of the fetus. This factor is also aggravated by the intake of alcohol. Ethyl crosses the placenta after 20 minutes after entering the stomach. Initially, alcohol (or rather, its decay products) has a detrimental effect on the oxygen supply of the placenta, the brain and heart of the embryo.
Alcohol during pregnancy in any quantities can provoke such pathologies:
- FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome);
- pathology of the development of the liver, kidneys, heart, brain;
- underdeveloped fetal vascular system;
- low birth weight of the child (congenital dystrophy);
- anomalies in the development and ossification of the maxillofacial part: an elongated face, underdevelopment of the lower jaw, hypoplasia of the zygomatic arch, deformity of the bones of the nose, “cleft lip” or “cleft palate”;
- wrong head shape. More often it is an elongated head, flattened from the occiput, an acute form of the crown, a flattened occiput;
- strabismus, reduced palpebral fissures;
- deformation of the chest, hip joint;
- disproportionate body;
- microcephaly – underdevelopment of the brain;
- neurological disorders (the child is nervous, “on the face” signs of alcohol intoxication);
- genital-anal disorders.
All of the above complications are not mandatory, but subject to regular alcohol consumption, a pregnant woman automatically increases the development of pathologies of a different nature.
Is there a legal limit for the consumption of alcohol by a pregnant woman?
Some girls, being in a position, talk about the “benefit” of alcohol in its small portions. The effect of alcohol on pregnancy does not depend on its quantity and quality. For example, only 30 grams of a drink containing ethyl alcohol can provoke a violation of the oxygen supply of the placenta, defects in the development of the heart muscle and kidneys.
A relatively “safe” portion of alcohol depends on the individual characteristics of a pregnant woman. Intoxication for some may occur 15 minutes after drinking alcohol, and for others – after 5 minutes, but in any case, alcohol to a greater or lesser extent affects all the internal organs of the mother and child. In the early stages, this is a 50% chance of miscarriages, and in the later stages, missed pregnancies and fetal abnormalities.
There is no safe and acceptable serving of alcohol (of any quality) for pregnant women! It’s worth remembering. Of course, one cannot say that a drunk glass of wine can necessarily provoke complications in the development of a child, but the opposite cannot be said either. The percentage risk is 50:50.
If future mothers are ready to risk the health of their unborn baby, you can safely experiment. Ethyl alcohol, penetrating into the body of a woman, directly enters the placental circulation. At the same time, the percentage ratio of the concentration of ethanol decay products (acetic aldehyde) in the blood plasma is the same for both the mother and her fetus. Alcohol intoxication is the direct fate of a child who is in a “stalemate” in the womb.
The dangers of alcohol in late pregnancy
Alcohol during late pregnancy is also dangerous. Most expectant mothers naively think that if the child is formed, all organs are already fully functional, then you can sometimes “please” yourself with a glass of champagne or beer. In fact, the danger to the child in the later stages (especially before childbirth) is not reduced. Now the glass of wine drunk by the mother freely passes the placental barrier, directly affecting the brain of the baby. The consequences of such a rash act are alcohol intoxication of the child. For example, a mother’s chronic alcoholism causes signs of alcohol intoxication in a child. After birth, the most common diagnosis is fetal alcohol syndrome in the infant. What is this disease, and why is this condition dangerous for a child after birth?
Even if you drink small portions of alcohol systematically, you can provoke complex alcohol poisoning of the child already inside the womb. The most common diagnosis is infant alcohol syndrome. The clinical picture depends on the form of the complication. The mild form manifests itself in the form of a mild mental deviation, physical indicators are most often normal, birth weight can be slightly reduced. The middle form is characterized by more complex mental disorders (of moderate severity). Somatic diseases, developmental and thinking disorders, nervous disorders and low birth weight are the main signs.
The most difficult and dangerous form is severe. Defects of internal organs, visible defects in appearance (“cleft lip”, small nose, elongated head, “cleft palate”). This stage is accompanied by violations of the central nervous system. Consequences of any form of fetal alcohol syndrome:
- stuttering and strabismus;
- a significant lag in development;
- anomalies in the development of limbs;
- malocclusion, breast rejection;
- aggression and psychosomatic manifestations;
- violation of the perception of the surrounding world;
Chronic alcoholism and the constant use of alcohol by the mother provokes complex conditions, the treatment of which is carried out only in a hospital. In fact, drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause lifelong disability for the baby. The probability of such a situation is 50%. However, is the risk worth the imaginary pleasure of drinking alcohol, even of the highest quality?
Birthday: alcohol intoxication of a pregnant woman and the outcome of childbirth
Intoxication of a pregnant woman with constant alcohol consumption negatively affects not only the development of the child, but also the oxygen supply of the placenta. As a result of the constant abuse of alcohol in the later stages, the risk of developing premature birth increases. 60% of childbirth in alcohol addicts is a premature delivery process at 33-36 weeks. It is this factor that is risky for the life and further development of the child. In addition to the load that the child was subjected to in the womb, after birth, he will have to fight for life. Early childbirth increases the risk of developing pneumonia, which in itself is a deadly condition for babies.
In addition, the effect of ethanol, aimed at the entire body of a woman, has a direct impact on the activity of the birth process. The functions of the liver, kidneys and brain “slow down”, there is a deficiency in the production of the substance necessary for childbirth – oxytocin. Additional injections of oxytocin may only work in 60%. All other situations require a caesarean section. This is the only way to reduce the risk of birth trauma for the newborn.
Alcohol in any quantity, any quality for a healthy person is a poison that provokes complex disorders of the internal organs. For a pregnant woman, drinking alcohol at the stage of conception, early and late development of the child is an unjustified risk. Pathologies in the development of internal organs, lifelong disability and complex physiological abnormalities are the prospect of every mother who has taken the responsibility of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
But the worst thing is the hopelessness of the situation of the baby himself. A child growing in the mother’s body cannot protect itself from the harmful effects of alcohol, and the protective natural functions of a woman cannot ensure the safety of the fetus in case of alcohol abuse. Nicotine, alcohol and drug addiction are the most dangerous factors that cause life-threatening mutation processes in an undeveloped child. Even an unplanned pregnancy cannot be an excuse for the irresponsibility of the expectant mother.