Alcohol can harm an unborn baby, even in the smallest amounts. Increased and frequent use of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to a disorder called fetal alcohol syndrome. As there is no safe level of drinking during pregnancy, doctors recommend that not drinking at all is the safest option.
When someone consumes alcohol, it passes from the blood through the placenta and to the unborn baby. It can result in abnormal development of the baby’s brain, spinal cord, and other organs. As the first trimester is the main time when organs are developing quickly, this is the time of the highest risk of harm to the baby. Still, there is no safe time-frame to consume alcohol during any pregnancy. Consuming alcohol throughout pregnancy can also raise the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and fetal alcohol disorder (FAD). FAD constitutes a range of physical, cognitive, emotional, and developmental problems caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.
Someone may drink alcohol in the first few weeks of the pregnancy, without knowing they are pregnant. The risk from this low level is likely to be small, But once a woman knows they are pregnant, it’s advisable to avoid drinking during the rest of the pregnancy and even during breastfeeding. In Australia, there is an organization called The National Organization for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Australia (NOFASD Australia), which you can contact if you need further information.
What are the effects of alcohol before pregnancy?
Alcohol can affect the fertility of both women and men. To improve the chances of becoming pregnant, avoid drinking alcohol. It can also harm an unborn baby. Avoid alcohol while trying to fall pregnant because you may not know exactly when conception occurs.
What are the effects of alcohol during pregnancy?
Any alcohol you drink will pass through the placenta to your baby and can cause:
- lower birth weights
- premature birth
- congenital disabilities
- Fetal Alcohol Disorder (FAD)
What are the effects of alcohol during breastfeeding?
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause some effects in the baby while breastfeeding as it tends to stay in the breast milk and blood for several hours. It can also decrease the flow of milk, causing the baby to have less nutrition and disturbed sleep. This can also affect the baby’s brain development.
You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.
This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.