As soon as you get to know you are pregnant, the main area of concern is over what you can eat and drink while pregnant. Maintaining a healthy diet before and during pregnancy helps to protect both the pregnant mother and her developing baby from immediate and long-term health risks. A pregnant woman has to change her eating habits and quit her comfort food to avoid any risks of her developing baby. Pregnant women are given a long list of medical recommendations that they should avoid to consume raw meat, deli meats and avoid smoking as well.

There’s scientific evidence that these activities can have negative impacts on the health of the fetus, but the one that seems to be the source of most debate is alcohol. Generally it is known that drinking can cause many complications during pregnancy, even casual drinking can harm your tiny baby. Many researches has been conducted and result came that “no amount of alcohol is safe for a pregnant woman”.

Risks of drinking wine during pregnancy:

Drinking during pregnancy can cause the risks of fetal alcohol syndrome (FASD). Fetal alcohol syndrome occurs when the pregnant mother drinks excessive amounts of alcohol. It can result from high alcohol consumption, binge drinking, or regular use of alcohol throughout pregnancy. The alcohol passes through the placenta and into the baby’s bloodstream. This can cause many birth defects, from physical abnormalities to mental retardation. These effects will continue to impact the baby after they are born and as they grow.

Babies with FASDs have hearing problems, vision problems, heart defects, kidney problems and smaller brain. Alcohol may also block some of the oxygen and nutrition your baby needs for healthy growth. Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk. A baby’s liver is one of the last organs to develop and doesn’t mature until the later stages of pregnancy. Your baby cannot process alcohol as well as you can, and too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect their development.

Drinking alcohol, especially in the first three months of pregnancy, increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and your baby having a low birth weight.

How to avoid drinking in pregnancy:

Most women do give up alcohol once they know they’re pregnant or when they’re planning to become pregnant. Women who find out they’re pregnant after already having drunk in early pregnancy should avoid further drinking. There are some tips by following them a pregnant woman can quit drinking:

1) Replace your drink with a non-alcoholic drink like sparkling juice or non-alcoholic beer at dinners, or a cool glass of coconut water. There are plenty of other pregnancy-safe mocktails that you can have.

2) If you drink for relaxing yourself opt for other activities like listening music, taking a warm bath, massage or reading.

3) If you’re finding it hard to give up alcohol while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it might help to talk to your doctor or midwife for advice and treatment, and to friends and family for support.

Drinking should also be avoided during breastfeeding because alcohol in the mother’s bloodstream passes into breast milk which can reduce the milk supply, and can cause irritability, poor feeding and sleep disturbance of the baby.  As breastfeeding has many advantages for a young baby, it is recommended that a mother who choose to breastfeed her baby should discontinue drinking for some months. So it’s better to quit drinking during pregnancy and breastfeeding as well. A woman can come back to her normal drinking routine after this time passes by.

News Reporter

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