Can I Drink Moderately While Pregnant?

Drinking moderately while pregnant exposes an unborn child to many health risks. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) any amount of alcohol exposure to an unborn child puts that child at risk. Women who struggle with alcohol addiction and become pregnant put themselves and their babies in an even more vulnerable position. Getting help for your alcohol addiction before trying to become pregnant is the safest answer for women struggling with alcohol.

Moderate Drinking and Conception

If you or someone you love struggles with alcohol addiction, and you are trying to get pregnant, you are already putting your unborn child at risk. The side effects of alcohol consumption can affect a developing fetus even before you know you are pregnant, because many developmental changes take place during the earliest weeks of pregnancy. Alcohol exposure is still the leading cause of mental retardation in infants and is the most preventable form of birth defect. Getting control of your alcohol use or alcohol addiction before becoming pregnant will protect your unborn child from this and other birth defects.

Moderate Drinking and Pregnancy

Moderate drinking is considered no more than one to two drinks per week. The ACOG maintains the long-standing position that no amount of alcohol is safe for pregnant women. Along with being the leading cause of mental retardation in infants alcohol exposure before birth also causes the following problems:

  • Growth deficiencies
  • Facial deformities
  • Central nervous system impairment
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Impaired intellectual development

Babies born from mothers who drink while pregnant are also at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol passes through the placenta during pregnancy, directly affecting the unborn baby. The following symptoms may indicate a baby is suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome:

  • Poor growth before and after birth
  • Decreased muscle tone leading to poor coordination
  • Developmental delays in thinking, speech, movement or social skills
  • Heart defects
  • Problems with the face, including narrow eyes, small head, small upper jaw, smooth groove in the upper lip and smooth and thin upper lip

Drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy also increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and stillbirth. Assuming the position that no alcohol is safe during pregnancy is the best way to protect your unborn child.

Alcohol Consumption, Pregnancy and Addiction

People recovering from alcohol addiction cannot take the risk of even one drink, if they are going to maintain their hard-won sobriety. Even though it may seem safe to drink in moderation when pregnant, for recovering alcoholics there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption. Pregnancy gives the recovering alcoholic another strong reason to continue total abstinence from alcohol.

Help for Alcohol Addiction

Not consuming alcohol while pregnant is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol addiction or needs help stopping alcohol consumption before, during or after pregnancy, you are not alone. We are here to help you. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day.

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