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What can happen to your baby if you are pregnant and drink alcohol

What can happen to your baby if you are pregnant and drink alcohol


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Almost 50 percent of women in Spain drink some alcohol during pregnancy. According to a study carried out by Socidrogalcohol (Spanish Scientific Society for Studies on Alcohol, Alcoholism and Other Drug Addiction), one in five pregnant women can drink up to five or more drinks per occasion.

Although most are aware of the serious consequences for the fetus that the mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy, almost one in two women continues to consume some alcohol during pregnancy. The risks that the fetus has a premature death in the mother's womb, presents some malformation or mental retardation, or that it is born with a considerable low weight, must be considered by the woman, when bringing a glass with an alcoholic beverage to mouth.

When the mother drinks, the ethanol contained in the drinks crosses the placental barrier, reaching the same BAC levels in the mother as in the fetus. That is, the alcohol that a mother can ingest, will reach the fetus with the same intensity. The damage can be serious not only to the fetus but also to the mother herself.

It is observed that alcohol is one of those responsible, for example, for spontaneous abortion. Fetal alcohol syndrome, which affects one to two out of every thousand live births today, is the most frequent cause of mental and intellectual disability in children. It is also responsible for malformations, facial features and mental retardation. In many cases, the damages are 'irreversible'.

The child may have serious adaptation difficulties and a significant deficit in their autonomy, becoming people easy to persuade and manipulate. You can still suffer from psychiatric disorders, among which are heavy alcohol use in adolescence and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Alcohol consumption is most harmful during the first weeks of pregnancy.

As many times women drink because they do not yet know that they are pregnant, doctors advise that women of childbearing age who do not use safe contraception should avoid alcoholic beverages. Not drinking is the only form of prevention in these cases.

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