Pregnancy is often chronicled as one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, about 20% of pregnant women will struggle with depression. There are so many changes taking place with hormones and the body, having a good support system in place is important. Women’s increased vulnerability to stress makes the dangers of drinking during pregnancy something important to educate oneself about.
Chronic alcohol drinking is dangerous to the body regardless if you’re pregnant or not. For women that are pregnant, alcohol consumption should be limited, but many still continue to drink. If you look at any bottle of alcohol, you’ll always see a warning label that clearly states not to drink while pregnant. For problem drinkers, the urge to continue consuming alcohol doesn’t just disappear once you become pregnant. It’s a constant struggle that must be controlled and this can be done through therapy and counseling.
While researchers do not know the minimum amount of alcohol which is dangerous, binge drinking is particularly harmful to fetal brain development. The high level of alcohol produces longer periods of alcohol exposure to the placenta and the developing fetal brain. The most significant consequences of maternal alcohol use have increased the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, fetal alcohol syndrome, and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder, both of which are associated with substantial cognitive and behavioral deficits.
What Happens When Pregnant Women Drink?
Research from the University of Manchester examined the effects of drinking in early pregnancy and reinforced the finding that drinking alcohol while pregnant is dangerous. This research has also suggested that women who are trying to conceive should abstain from drinking because the damage which is caused by alcohol can happen very early during pregnancy, perhaps even before a woman knows that she is pregnant.
Although heavy drinking during pregnancy is known to have detrimental effects on the unborn child, it’s reported that more than half of women who binge drink continue to do so during pregnancy. Risky drinking patterns, particularly binge drinking, are dangerous prior to conception and a difficult pattern to break without proper support. Leading Doctors and researchers continue to advise not to treat any warning casually when pregnant, and to err on the side of caution whenever possible.
At Restore Health and Wellness, our alcoholism treatment programs are designed to help both men and women recover from chronic alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one are affected, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a confidential treatment assessment around the clock.