How Much Alcohol is Safe During Pregnancy?
The simple answer is: none. Many years ago, it was commonly believed that some alcohol consumption during pregnancy was perfectly fine. That glass of wine with dinner? Go ahead! A beer at the ballgame? Sure! Now we know that even one drink has the potential to cause harm to your baby. Conversely, there are some studies that show that an occasional drink during a pregnancy may not have any impact, but I don’t think it is worth the risk.
What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
FASD, or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, is the term used to describe a range of disabilities that can result from alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Partial FASD (pFAS), and Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) all fall under the FASD. The birth defects and/or disabilities can vary from mild to severe and can include a vast range of brain, physical, and central nervous system disabilities, as well as cognitive, behavioural and emotional issues. There is no cure for FASD, but the good news is it is 100% preventable.
Trying to Conceive?
You may already be aware that drinking during pregnancy isn’t safe for your baby. But did you know that if you are trying to conceive, you should also abstain from alcohol entirely? Since you would not know the precise moment conception would occur, how could you possibly know when to stop drinking? There are also studies that suggest drinking in the three months prior to conception could have negative impacts.
Dad’s to be, this goes for you too! There are studies out there that show paternal alcohol consumption can have an effect on the baby too since alcohol can affect characteristics of sperm cells in ways that harm the fetus. Why risk it?
What if You Drink Before Knowing You are Pregnant?
Oops! If you have an unplanned pregnancy, the best thing you can do is stop drinking as soon as you find out you are pregnant. It is never too late to try to improve the odds for a healthy baby.
What if Your Child is Born with FASD?
Watch my blog for more information on FASD, what it is, and how to help those who live with it. Or, check out www.maternitycorner.com