Aspects of Wine and alcohol during pregnancy | Blog Aspects of Wine and alcohol during pregnancy | Blog

Can I have a glass of wine during Pregnancy?

Can I have a glass of wine during Pregnancy?

by: Dr. Pooja Mehta
Sr. Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology

A common area of concern during pregnancy is over what you can eat and drink while pregnant. It can be difficult to adjust to pregnancy and change without the help of your favorite comfort food or drink, so obviously you want to find out if your favorite foods and beverages are safe to ingest. Maybe you’re one of those people who like to unwind with a glass of wine at the end of the day, or maybe you still want to enjoy a fancy dinner at your favorite restaurant. It is recommended that you avoid alcohol entirely when you’re pregnant and trying to conceive. Please note that research highlights that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can harm your child in the womb adversely. It can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disease and cause brain damage and development defects in the fetus.

Important aspects to be noted if you drink alcohol and are pregnant:

  • No alcohol: There is no limit. Actually, you can’t drink alcohol at all. When you eat or drink anything the nutrients are passed on through the placenta and the umbilical cord to your baby. The baby in the womb is not able to digest and process the alcohol making it susceptible to developmental damages.
  • It harms you psychologically: Although you might think that having a glass of wine might be helping you de-stress and unwind. However, if you drink in excess it can lead to loss of cognitive ability, loss of coordination, a poor memory which may lead to miscarriages or other injuries.
  • Can cause miscarriage or stillbirth: The complications caused by alcohol use can be adverse leading to high-risk pregnancy, loss of pregnancy or stillbirth.

Effects of the alcohol on the baby:

The reason that no alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy is that of the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome occurs when the pregnant mother drinks excessive amounts of alcohol during pregnancy. Babies with FAS have a constellation of severe lifelong problems:

  • They’re born smaller
  • Babies often continue to grow poorly
  • They may have physical abnormalities and learning and behavior problems
  • Abnormal facial expressions, smaller head size and shorter than average height
  • Poor coordination and hyperactive behavior
  • Poor memory and cognitive function
  • Poor reasoning and judgmental skills
  • Vision and hearing issues

FAS ends up with the FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders) which affects many children whose mothers drank various amounts while pregnant. These children don’t have all of the physical features of FAS but do have learning and behavior problems. As of now it is not clear what amount of alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy. If you feel comfortable having a glass or a half a glass of wine once a day or once a week is totally up to you. It’s your own personal choice. The amount that is safe depends upon person to person, that would likely be different for different women. So the best way to ensure that you have a baby that’s not affected by alcohol is not to drink any alcohol while you’re pregnant.

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