At Michigan Women’s Health our goal is a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.
April Is Alcohol Awareness Month.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is caused when alcohol from the mother is transferred across the placenta to the baby when pregnant. It can result in minor issues in your child or very severe ones. Below are some of the problems a child may have from fetal alcohol syndrome:
- Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)
- Small head size
- Shorter-than-average height
- Low body weight
- Poor coordination
- Hyperactive behavior
- Difficulty with attention
- Poor memory
- Difficulty in school (especially with math)
- Learning disabilities
- Speech and language delays
- Intellectual disability or low IQ
- Poor reasoning and judgment skills
- Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
- Vision or hearing problems
- Problems with the heart, kidney, or bones
There is no safe time to drink any type of alcohol when pregnant. Many women hear that their friends drank, or they themselves drank with their prior pregnancy and the child was fine, so why avoid alcohol this pregnancy?
We do not know why some fetus’ are affected by the alcohol and others are not. Just because your prior child was healthy doesn’t mean this pregnancy won’t be affected.
If you were drinking before you missed your period but stopped the minute you had the positive pregnancy test, there may not be any long term issues with your child. However, you may have a higher chance of an early miscarriage.
The safest thing to do is to avoid alcohol entirely when pregnant and if you are not using contraception.
Let’s stay healthy together through every stage of life.