Although it has always been speculated that a few drops are alright, pediatricians state that no alcohol at all is the safest way during pregnancy. Controversy has surrounded the problem of alcohol drinking while pregnant for a long time. Women have always asked themselves if no really means no in this case. Or if, maybe, a glass one time during the nine months is alright.
And thoughts on the matter were contradictory. Until now, when the American Academy of Pediatrics has come forth to state that absolutely no amount of alcohol is to be permitted while with child. And that is their final word on it, as they are trying to put an end to the long lasting debate.
The reasoning behind their statement is the fact that alcohol consumption while pregnant is still, even today, the number one cause why babies are born with physical defects. Therefore, in their opinion, no risk should be taken whatsoever, even if one single glass of champagne or one pint of beer in nine months of pregnancy seems very, very little.
Studies on the effects of alcohol drinking on fetuses started back in the 70s. Since then, many chilling conclusions have been reached. For example, children that were exposed to alcohol while in the womb are more than likely to be born with deformities in the face, with behavioral issues and cognition problems. These collected symptoms are widely referred to as FASD, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Although all this sounds downright frightening and should be enough to scare any mother-to-be into drinking only water and nothing else for the next few years, a problem still exists because of biased doctors, different advice, different cultures or parts of the world mothers live in.
For example, if a mother-to-be admits to her gynecologist that she has had alcohol before she found out she was pregnant, usually her doctor will tell her not to worry, it won’t cause any damage to the baby, but to stop hitherto. The mother to be then spends the rest of the pregnancy under the idea that, if the alcohol consumed during, let’s say, her first month of pregnancy, when she didn’t know she was with child will cause no harm at all, then neither will a glass she’ll have later on.
This, of course, can be true and pediatricians admit that pregnancy is different from woman to woman and that different bodies react differently to carrying a child. However, they still state that, just to be on the safe side, one should never, ever drink alcohol while the baby is on board.
The study was led by Dr. Janet Williams and it will be published on Monday.
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