Perhaps you already knew this, but drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not a good idea. But the extent to which alcohol is bad for your child can not be answered unequivocally. This is mainly because it differs per child and per mother. Because there is some uncertainty about this, some future mothers go a bit lax with the rules. Although it is not recommended by the health council, many will soon think 'well a glass can not do any harm'. But you can not be so sure about that! Read more about this here pregnancy and alcohol and why you better let that glass stand.
7 things you need to know about pregnancy and alcohol!
Drinking alcohol can cause FAS
The main reason for not drinking is that it increases the chance that your child can get FAS through alcohol. FAS stands for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Children with this syndrome have mental and physical limitations.
FAS can cause abnormalities in 3 areas: delayed growth, facial abnormalities and neurological abnormalities. Think of poor sucking reflexes and hypersensitivity to light and sound. More information about FAS can be found on the website of the fas foundation.
Alcohol increases the risk of miscarriage
You should not think about it anyway. Are you (finally) pregnant, do you get a miscarriage because you could not leave the glasses of wine?
Yet this can happen by drinking alcohol. How exactly this is possible is not entirely clear. But alcohol is basically poison for your body and you should not want that at all if you have a baby in your stomach.
Alcohol pregnancy first weeks, even in the first weeks of pregnancy, alcohol can be harmful
Some women think that alcohol is not harmful in the first weeks of pregnancy because no placenta has yet been developed. The placenta nourishes your child by extracting nutrients from your blood. Since alcohol comes into your blood, it naturally also reaches your child.
But did you know that alcohol is not only absorbed in your blood but also in your bodily fluid? And through your body fluid it also ends up in the amniotic fluid. Your baby drinks this amniotic fluid and thus also receives alcohol. In fact, the alcohol reaches your child when he or she is in the yolk sac and that is in the first weeks of your pregnancy! Alcohol has an effect on your baby even before you become pregnant.
Drinking in moderation does not work during pregnancy
Maybe you think (or hope) that one glass has no effect on your child, but this is not entirely true. There is a chance that even that one glass has negative consequences. This is not the same with every woman. It depends on how sensitive you are to alcohol and it also depends on the sensitivity of your baby. Maybe you think you can go for a glass, but your baby can think very differently about that. So never assume that it can not cause any damage.
Pregnancy and Alcohol: also a bad combination with social occasions
Imagine that you drink almost no drop of your entire pregnancy, but on a social occasion you will get it just as hard. Maybe you think: after all, drinking a night is not bad? After all, you have been very good for the rest of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, we also have to disappoint you. Even if you only drink one night, this can also have negative consequences.
If you drink 4 glasses of wine in one go, this will certainly have an effect. The more you drink, the longer your body will do to break down the alcohol. This means that the alcohol is longer in your body and your baby will come into contact with it for a longer period of time. With the result that the damage can be even greater than when you drink one glass.
5 glasses in one evening is also called 'binge-drinking'. In binge drinking a high alcohol peak is created which can be very dangerous for the development of your baby.
The older you are, the more sensitive you become
If you had no problems with pregnancy and alcohol with your previous baby, this is not a license for a few drinks with your next pregnancy. The older a woman becomes, the more sensitive she is to alcohol and so the chances are that your baby can be damaged now. It is also possible that your second (or third) child has a higher sensitivity to alcohol than your other child.
One woman is not the other
Do not listen to the stories or comments of other women. Certainly not when they indicate that they have drunk quite a bit during their pregnancy and that everything 'has been fine'. Do not compare your baby with yourself, for example.
There are many women who still pour wine with the excuse 'because their mother just drank during pregnancy'.
That is probably true, but you are not your mother. Every woman responds differently to alcohol.
The impact of alcohol and being pregnant depends on your body composition. For example, muscular women (who also have more fluid in their bodies) can be more resistant to alcohol than women who are fuller (and therefore more fat than fluid in their body).
Age also plays a major role. In the case of your mother, chances are that she was a lot younger when you were in her belly.
In the book: Give that child a drink of gin, is written in an airy way about how in the past pregnancy and alcohol were dealt with.
Other factors that play a role in pregnancy and alcohol when it comes to your body and baby are: