EFFECTS OF DRINKING ALCOHOL DURING PREGNANCY
- Alcohol is considered dangerous to the growing baby when in your tummy.
- There are very little studies regarding how much alcohol significantly affects the growing child, hence best bet is to avoid it altogether.
- Alcohol is easily dissolvable and ends up reaching the baby through the umbilical cord. The alcohol cannot be broken down by the baby’s immature liver.
- Presence of alcohol affects the baby in many ways and particularly the overall growth and also the brain nerve connections.Repeated Miscarriages( failure to get pregnant) is a known problem with alcohol consumption
This condition is known as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome where there could be a collection of abnormal findings at birth. Like –
- Small head size and Low birth weight
- Abnormalities in the face- small eyes set far apart, thin lips
- Problems with brain- Cerebral Palsy( Stiffness, abnormal movements, difficulty in coordination)
- Learning difficulty in later life
- Behaviour problems- Autism(see the section for autism), Attention defects( ADHD)Affects other organs- Liver, Kidney, Heart development
- Avoid alcohol as much as possible during pregnancy
- Ultrasound, especially the one at 20 weeks (anomaly scan)- to check for abnormalities.
- There is no actual treatment of the syndrome. It can only be managed by individually referring to each problem.
- Heart, kidney, lung weight problems will be dealt at birth
- Hearing, speech problems needs to be followed up by the speech therapist
- Make sure you have screened you baby for hearing defects at birth
- Behavioural problems are dealt with respective child psychologist( at 3 to 7 years of life)