Everyone knows someone that has been pregnant and has had a small glass of wine or 1/2 of a cooler. My girlfriend’s doctor even told her that as long as she didn’t get tipsy, having the occasional drink while pregnant was okay. Is It?
Last night a friend, who doesn’t have kids, asked me if there were any long term effects to drinking while your pregnant. He wanted to know if the baby just felt the effects for just a couple of hours but then recovered like we do.
FASlink.org is a society dedicated to educating about the effects of alcohol on an unborn fetus. They also report on issues that may last long after the baby is born, straight into adulthood.
Alcohol damage to the fetus occurs over a wide continuum. Damage varies due to volume ingested, timing during pregnancy, peak blood alcohol levels, genetics and environmental factors.
FASD is not a threshold condition. It is a continuum ranging from mild intellectual and behavioral issues to the extreme that often leads to profound disabilities or premature death.
At the mild end, damage may be the loss of some intellectual functioning (IQ), visual problems and higher than normal pain tolerance. At the severe end, damage may be severe loss of intellectual potential, severe vision problems, dyslexia, serious maxilo-facial deformities, dental abnormalities, heart defects, immune system malfunctioning, behavioral problems, attention deficit disorders, hyper-activity, extreme impulsiveness, poor judgment, little or no retained memory, deafness, little or no capacity for moral judgment or interpersonal empathy, sociopathic behaviour, epilepsy, tremors, cerebral palsy, renal failure, heart failure, death.
Sadly, the statistics aren’t very good because Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is “grossly” under-reported.
- There is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% preventable. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, don’t drink any alcohol at all.
- Biological specimens are preserved in alcohol. Why? The alcohol kills anything it contacts, so it prevents rotting (bacterial and enzyme degradation) of the specimen.
- “Of all the substances of abuse, including heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus.” -Institute of Medicine 1996 Report to Congress
- It is estimated that up to 20% of women consume alcohol regularly while pregnant”.
- Studies by United States Drug Testing Laboratories using the Avitar MecStat-ETOH meconium testing for FAEE’s that have shown 15% to 18% of newborns have been exposed to significant levels of alcohol in the final 20 weeks with 4% having been exposed to very high levels of alcohol.
- SCIENTISTS have captured graphic images of the damage done to unborn babies as a result of women drinking during pregnancy. Just one glass of wine a week can make babies “jump” in the womb throughout a nine-month pregnancy
These facts are very scary and really sad. Clearly, more people need to be educated about what is happening inside their bodies when they are pregnant.