Signs Of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome | Paras Bliss, Panchkula
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How Alcohol Affects Fetus?

How Alcohol Affects Fetus?

A woman who drinks alcohol while she is pregnant may harm her developing baby (fetus) and may cause a spectrum of birth defects in her baby called as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The problems range from mild to severe.  Alcohol can cause a child to have physical or mental problems that may last all of his or her life.

How is Alcohol Drinking Measured?

Units are a simple way of expressing the amount of pure alcohol in a drink. One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol.

Drinking Patterns:

  • Binge drinking :Consuming too much in a short time – Eg 6 glasses a night
  • Consuming for a long time with consistent spacing – Eg 7 glasses a week, one every night
  • Heavy alcohol consumption was defined as four or more alcoholic drinks per day

The pattern of consumption also influences the effects on the fetus. Binge drinking in early pregnancy is said to be worse than chronic small amount drinking.

How Does Alcohol Reach the Baby?  

Alcohol absorbed through the placenta by a fetus can cause problems for a developing baby throughout pregnancy, including before a woman knows she’s pregnant.

How Does it AFFECT Baby?

  • Alcohol consumption leads to constriction of blood vessels supplying blood from mother to fetus
  • Also, leads to oxidative stress
  • Ultimately resulting in tissue injury or cell death

What Are Effects Of Alcohol On Fetus:

In first trimester or first 3 months:

Consumption of Alcohol leads to

  1. Miscarriage
  2. Birth defects or fetal alcohol syndrome

What Are Effects Of Alcohol On Fetus:

  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature labour

How Much And Which  Alcohol Is Safe?

  • No amount is safe in pregnancy!
  • No type of alcohol is safe in pregnancy!
  • Some studies say one to two unit once a week usually doesnot cause harm in late pregnancy

What Can You Do If You’re Pregnant And Have Had Alcohol?

  • Contact your Gynae
  • Confess
  • Amount,time, pattern, type
  • Fetal Medicine referral for expert opinion

What Is Treatment Of An Affected Child?

  • There is no treatment that can reverse the impact of alcohol on your baby’s health.
  • And there’s no treatment that can make the effects less severe.
  • Social support, special schools , counselling and your patience can comfort an affected child

Alcohol use while Planning Pregnancy

  • If you are planning a pregnancy, it is advisable not to drink alcohol at all during this time.
  • Either partner drinking heavily (over six units per day) before pregnancy can make it more difficult to conceive.
  • If you are a heavy drinker and then stop drinking immediately, you could have serious side effects. If you want to stop drinking, you should discuss this first with your doctor who will be able to help you to manage any side effects.

Breastfeeding and Alcohol Consumption:

  • Best to avoid: No drinking at all!
  • Some groups say 1-2 units, once or twice a week are usually harmless

 

 

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