How Alcohol Affects A Fetus
As a pregnant woman, it can feel like theres a long list of everything you cant do, from enjoying the sauna on your spa-day to twists in your yoga class to indulging in some of your favorite foods and of course, drinking alcohol. As we reveal in our guide on , some myths should be taken with a grain of salt such as the correlation between , yet there are reasons why drinking in pregnancy has long been discouraged.
When you drink alcohol while pregnant:
- Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream
- It passes through the placenta
- Then, it is passed to the fetus via the umbilical cord
Scientists at the Duke University Alcohol Pharmacology Education Projectexplain that Alcohol is eliminated from the mothers body by metabolism. Unfortunately, the fetus cannot metabolize alcohol the same way the mother does. The only way to eliminate the alcohol from the fetus is diffusion through the placenta, back to the maternal blood supply.
A fetus is much smaller than a drinking-age adult, so even if only a bit of the alcohol you consume passes through the placenta, it has a much stronger effect on your developing baby than it does on you.
Evidence That Drinking While Pregnant Isnt The Worst Thing Ever:
- There is currently no published evidence that FAS occurs statistically more often in anyone besides heavy drinkers.
- Among women who heavily drink throughout pregnancy, only 4% to 5% of those infants will be born with FAS. Moreover, that same comprehensive review concluded, no consistent evidence of adverse effects from low-to-moderate prenatal alcohol consumption.
- FAS usually develops in infants whose mothers not only drank, but also smoked, used drugs, were depressed, experienced poverty, had a poor diet, and/or were older than the average mother.
- There is potential evidence that binge drinking is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.
- Driving or riding in a car while pregnant is riskier than having a single drink. However, it should be noted that driving places is a necessity in todays world, whereas drinking is definitely not.
- There is no well-accepted evidence that small amounts of alcohol cause fetal alcohol syndrome. This widespread idea seems to be predicated on the fact that heavy drinking and binge drinking is shown to cause birth defects. Therefore, experts say, an occasional drink might cause little defects which is not how science is supposed to work.
So Can Pregnant Women Drink Wine Or What
The question of very light and sporadic drinking during pregnancy remains a matter of much debate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends totally dry pregnancies. It states: there is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. The Surgeon General, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and most major medical organizations say basically the same thing and yes, dry means no wine.
But in recent years, there has been mounting skepticism of this blanket booze ban. Some women feel its their right to decide whats best for their body and baby. And from what theyve read online or seen other pregnant people do, they just dont buy that any amount of alcohol is bad news. Some obstetricians even suggest abstinence with a wink and a nod, having delivered hundreds or even thousands of healthy newborns, some of whose mothers enjoyed wine while pregnant.
Those who scoff at the idea that pregnancy must be completely dry arent pulling their beliefs out of thin air. There is, in fact, some decent science suggesting that light or even moderate alcohol consumption may not be as detrimental as its made out to be. For example, a 2013 study of nearly 7,000 ten-year-olds showed no evidence of adverse effects among the kids whose mothers drank moderately while pregnant .
Read Also: Pair Wine With Salmon
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much During Pregnancy
Theres a myth out there that FASD only happens to women who binge drink. Unfortunately, this isnt true. Binge drinking for women means having four or more alcoholic beverages in one interval. According to Sick Kids Hospital, women with the highest risk of having a baby with FASD have two or more alcoholic beverages a day. Even if youre drinking significantly less than two drinks a day, however, youre not in the green zone. The same goes for consuming light beer, or diluted drinks like a wine spritzer theyre not safer than a glass of wine, for example.
The effects of regular exposure to alcohol are cumulative, and drinking regularly throughout your pregnancy is dangerous, even in small amounts. We dont yet know why certain babies are born with FASD and others arent, or what level of drinking will result in a baby with FASD. Your babys brain develops throughout your pregnancy and any amount of alcohol can have effects. This means that alcohol exposure at any time during the pregnancy can put the baby at risk even before the woman knows shes pregnant. The safest course of action is to steer clear of it completely while youre pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Can You Drink White Wine While Pregnant
You must once ask yourself, why do I want to drink wine during pregnancy. If there is some other reason than temptation, address it immediately. It can make you more than searching Google and experimenting even if one line assures you no harm.
White whine is less beneficial than red wine. Similar properties and anti oxidant action doesnt serve as an invitation to use it as a prenatal supplement. You can drink white wine, red wine, and every drink according to some from the pregnancy fraternity.
US Centre Of Disease Control too advises you to abstain from alcohol. There are studies published in medical journals talking of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. All children having a category of disorders have a common thing and that is maternal prenatal alcoholism.
You May Like: Safari Park Malibu
What Does The Law Say
In 2014 the UK Court confirmed that a pregnant woman has no legal duty of care to her baby . This was a legal test of whether a child can make a claim against a mother who drank in pregnancy, resulting in FASD. In UK law, the baby has no legal rights, and the pregnant woman or person can make their own decisions about their body.
Domaines Pierre Chavin Perle Rose
About the Wine. A pregnancy safe sparkling rose wine, this French wine was produced from a Chardonnay grape blend. It’s light and fresh with notable floral aromas. You’ll find the delicate bubbles bring out the flavors of the wine and accompany its slightly sweet freshness well. Particularly appropriate for celebrations such as Baby Showers and Gender Reveals.
Also Check: Best Stella Rosa Wines
What Is The Official Guidance
The UK Chief Medical Officer has recommended that you shouldnt drink alcohol at all during your pregnancy. This is also the case if youre trying to get pregnant .
The Department of Health gives the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy as including low birth weight, preterm birth, and small size for gestational age. It also goes on to say that these risks “may be increased in mothers drinking above 1-2 units a day .”
One to two units per day is the same guide as for the general population of adults. Because the Department of Health are concerned about women underestimating their actual consumption, they feel it is safer to recommend no alcohol at all during pregnancy.
This guidance has been challenged as being patronising to women, with a lack of evidence to show that low levels of drinking cause harm to the baby .
Telling women not to drink at all is simpler, but it can lead to anxiety for the pregnant woman and social shaming. The wider social impact of drinking heavily means that the most negative effects of alcohol on mothers and babies in pregnancy are more likely to be as a result of sexual assault, violent crime, or domestic violence .
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also follow the CMO guidance. They refer to there being no safe level of drinking in pregnancy .
Drinking Wine While Pregnant First Trimester
Many researches have shown that there is negligible effect of drinking during early pregnancy. Women who had binge drinking episode in first trimester also did not have any birth complications. The study did not elucidate the effects of pregnant women drinking wine in general. Narrowed specific studies can overlook a lot of diversions from their conclusions.
A glass of wine while pregnant is most likely to be safe. Zero tolerance protocol of drinking wine while pregnant is hype. But you never come to know when then one glass graduates to seven glasses a day. Binge drinking can be due to any random trigger.
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Cannonau Wine Near Me
Drink: Sports Drinks With Electrolytes
It might seem odd to see sports drinks appear on the “should drink” side of this list. Nevertheless, sports drinks with electrolytes can be safely consumed during pregnancy. “Some moms may experience leg cramps during pregnancy,” Natalie B. Allen, a registered dietitian and clinical instructor of dietetics at Missouri State University, told The List. “If this happens, try a sports drink, as the electrolytes and fluid will help alleviate the cramp.” Michigan Medicine explained that electrolytes are a combination of minerals that help “keep the body’s balance of fluids at the proper level.”
Even for pregnant women who do not experience leg cramps, sports drinks fortified with electrolytes are a good choice. Complete Women’s Care, a team comprised of board-certified OBGYNs and certified nurse practitioners, claims that sports drinks “such as Gatorade, Powerade” are one of the best choices for upping your fluid intake.
What Are The Effects Of Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant
As already mentioned, any alcohol you drink can reach the baby through the placenta.
It`s almost common knowledge these days that any woman that will consume 4 or 5 measures of alcohol on a daily basis during the entire pregnancy will put the baby in a lot of danger. He can develop the fetal alcohol syndrome and may experience development problems, retardation, facial deformities or real look issues. Some of the first signs that can be an indicator of this syndrome are smaller sizes for the head and other body segments, eyes sunken in their sockets, shorter nose, dry or red upper lip, protruding forehead, incomplete development of the mouth, deformed ears, heart problems, genital issues, etc.Mental retardation due to FAS is the worst, the IQ reaching the most only the level of 65, and children that are considered to have a normal intelligence, at school will have difficulties in learning, memory, may experience confusion. Shortly, children may experience a smaller or higher degree of mental retardation.
More than this, some studies showed that moderate consumption of alcohol, but on a daily basis, can increase chances for miscarriage, cause premature birth or even certain abnormalities regarding the face of the baby. !
We mentioned above that 4 or 5 measures of alcohol can put the baby in jeopardy. But exactly does that mean? A measure of alcohol can mean:
- A half of draft of beer
- A small glass of wine
- A small glass of liquor .
Recommended Reading: Lowest Sugar Wine Type
What Are The Risks Of Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy
Alcohol is a teratogen, which means it crosses the placenta, causing harm to a developing fetus. As a teratogen, alcohol is in the same category as radiation, certain viruses, chemicals, and drugs, among other things. Teratogens affect a developing fetus in differing ways it all depends on the point in fetal development when the exposure takes place, the specific teratogen, and the amount or pattern of exposure.
In terms of alcohol, drinking during pregnancy can cause congenital abnormalities in the baby, ranging from intellectual disability to miscarriage. One of the most serious and long-term effects is fetal alcohol spectrum disorder . While there is a range in terms of impairment, children with FASD are more likely to have sensory sensitivities, issues with impulse control, learning disabilities, mental illness such as depression, specific facial deformities, and an inability to understand the consequences of their actions. FASD is the number one cause of preventable developmental disability in Canada. While FASD can be treated, it has no cure.
Which Wine Is Good For Getting Pregnant
Women who drink one glass of red wine a week boast better fertility than those who dont, a US study has found. Scientists at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, believe that this could be due to an antioxidant that is abundant in the wine.
Also Check: Stella Rosa Red Reserve Wine
That Concludes Our Article Of The Best Wines While Pregnant
As a new or expecting mom, we know that nothing matters more than the safety of your little one. We want you to be able to relax and enjoy a glass of wine without worrying about any risks. We created this definitive guide of our Top Picks for non-alcoholic wines to give you more insight into these wonderful products. You have a lot to think about on your plate. This doesnt have to be one of them. So find a wine you love, sit back and relax as you prepare for your new little one.
To see our full list of Pregnancy Safe Wines, click here.
What Happens To Babies Whose Mothers Drink During Pregnancy
Babies exposed to alcohol before they are born may:
be smaller than other babies and
have slight differences in their faces small or narrow eyes, and a thin or flat upper lip.
Babies exposed to large amounts of alcohol before birth may go through withdrawal in the first few weeks of life. This withdrawal often starts before they leave the hospital. Symptoms of withdrawal include:
FAS in school-aged children may lead to:
learning difficulties, including problems reading
difficulty paying attention
behaviour problems in the classroom and
falling behind in school.
Because of these problems, children with FAS often have low self-esteem. They do best with an education program that is tailored to their needs.
Also Check: What Wine With Lasagna
Drinking Alcohol And Its Impact On Pregnancy
According to medical journal drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not safe although, some doctors allow occasional drinking but in moderate quantities. At the end of a day, can you drink alcohol while pregnant is a personal choice however, it is important to remember its supposed ramifications on an unborn baby.Wine, beers are parts of alcohol and drinking any of these beverages is harmful for a foetus as it hampers its growth process.
Wine & Pregnancy Studies
There are several research studies published by scientists from the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders , the worlds leading FASD research consortium, that have examined moderate prenatal alcohol exposure.
Heres what some other solid published studies concluded:
Don’t Miss: Can You Ship Wine To Oklahoma
How Soon Should You Stop Drinking When Pregnant
The best advice is to stop drinking alcohol when you start trying to get pregnant. This is because many women become pregnant and do not know it right away. It may be up to 4 to 6 weeks before you know for sure. This means you might be drinking and exposing your developing baby to alcohol without meaning to.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Not Negatively Affect Behavior
A 2010 study of over 2000 pregnancies in Australia looked at developmental differences between children whose mothers engaged in:
- No alcohol consumption
- Up to one drink per week
- Light drinking
- Standard drinking
- Heavy drinking
Perhaps surprisingly, this study found that mothers who were light drinkers had children with fewer behavioral issues than did women who did not drink at all.
Read Also: Average Wine Bottle Oz
So Is It Safe To Drink While Pregnant
When done in excess, drinking wine while pregnant can have serious effects. At the same time, new research suggests that light drinking is not damaging to childrens cognitive and behavioral health. So, is it safe to drink wine while pregnant?
If youre reading this article because youve just found out youre pregnant and theres already a glass of wine or two in your rear mirror, its highly unlikely that youve done any long-term damage to your babys health.
However, if youre deciding whether to keep drinking, its important to note that your babys exposure to alcohol when you drink is very much affected by individual factors that these studies cannot account for. Factors such as:
- Your body has enzymes that break down the levels of alcohol. How much alcohol is ultimately passed through your umbilical cord depends on the quantity of these enzymes in your body, and this varies from person to person.
- Whats no big deal for one woman might get another drunk quickly, and the effects on their babies would differ, too. Just as pregnant belly shapes differ from one woman to the next, so does their alcohol tolerance.
- A restaurants glass of wine may actually contain two 5 oz glasses, and a pint of beer is actually 1.5 drinks. If you choose to drink, you may find it helpful to keep track of your serving size.