How alcohol affects your baby


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This presentation explains how alcohol affects your baby/fetus and what you can do to help yourself

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How alcohol affects your baby

  1. 1. How Alcohol Affects Your Baby by Jozzy Scott Take Control of Alcohol: Change Your Drinking Habit
  2. 2. You Should Know That About 1 in 12 women drink during pregnancy, about 1 in 30 pregnant women binge drink (consume five or more units of alcohol during any one occasion) and women who have 5 or more drinks a week are 70% more likely to have a stillborn baby than non- drinking women. These were facts revealed in a recent survey carried out by the Centre for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). This presentation will provide answer to questions like: how dangerous is alcohol to a baby in the womb (fetus)? At which stage of pregnancy is it dangerous to drink alcohol? How much alcohol is dangerous during pregnancy? What can you do as a husband if your alcoholic wife is pregnant? and more…
  3. 3. How Dangerous is Alcohol to a Baby in the Womb (Fetus)? The dangers posed by alcohol to a baby in the womb vary from one baby to another, but the potential defects are usually irreversible and include physical deformities, organ defects and neuro-develpomental disorders. The range of effects alcohol could have on a child is described by the term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). These disorders which range from mild to severe can include physical, mental, behavioral and learning disabilities. Even more disastrous than FASDs is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which is the most severe danger posed by alcohol to a baby in the womb.
  4. 4. Just A Little More on FAS CDC studies suggest that in the U.S alone between 1000 and 6000 babies are born every year with FAS. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one of the most common causes of mental retardation. However, the good news is that FAS is 100% preventable! In the later part of this article, you will discover how to prevent this dreadful syndrome.
  5. 5. At Which Stage of Pregnancy is it Dangerous to Drink Alcohol? Drinking alcohol can be dangerous to your unborn child at virtually any stage of pregnancy. However, the danger varies at different stages during pregnancy and also varies from one pregnancy to another. The first three months are particularly sensitive because at this first trimester stage, organs are being formed in the child. As a result, heavy drinking during this stage can cause babies to be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). At this stage, alcohol may cause abnormal features and early brain development may be affected.
  6. 6. Still On Stages of Pregnancy At later stages of pregnancy, drinking alcohol impairs overall growth and increases the risk of miscarriage and premature birth. At this stage, alcohol is particularly toxic to brain cells and might result in a small brain and further developmental problems. Following the potential dangers of drinking alcohol at all stages of pregnancy, the Department of Health stands by its advice to pregnant women, and to women trying to conceive, not to drink alcohol at all.
  7. 7. How Much Alcohol is Dangerous During Pregnancy? There is no amount of alcohol that is proven to be safe, though Obstetricians say there is no proof of harm from light drinking, which is no more than once or twice a week during pregnancy. However, more research is needed on the long term effects of light to moderate drinking throughout pregnancy. Heavy drinking is definitely harmful to an unborn and though the effect of light drinking may not be ascertained, completely staying off alcohol during pregnancy or if there is a chance you may become pregnant is the safest choice to make
  8. 8. How Can You Reduce The Risk of Your Child Having FASDs or FAS to Zero? Although FAS is incurable, the good news is that it is 100% preventable. The way to do this is to stop drinking alcohol once you are expecting pregnancy and during pregnancy. As soon as you become aware that you are pregnant, quit alcohol and give your coming baby the right to a healthy life.
  9. 9. What can Husbands do? The major assistance husbands could render to pregnant alcoholic wives is psychological support. For example, the husband will have to stop drinking alcoholic drinks where the wife is and also encourage the wife to quit alcohol. Because of the difficulty in quitting however, it is important for the husbands to encourage pregnant wives to discuss alcohol use with their Doctors, midwives or professional support person.
  10. 10. Other Helpful Tips Try finding non-alcoholic drinks that you really enjoy. Some women enjoy drinks that have a bit of a bite, like bitter lemon. Avoid situations where you usually drink, like parties or bars. Talk to your health provider and seek help to quit. Ask your partner, family and friends to help you stay away from alcohol. Want more? Check The Resources on the next slide
  11. 11. Mommy Doesn't Drink Here Anymore: Getting Through the First Year of Sobriety Living With FASD: A Guide for Parents Understanding FASD: Cause, Effects, and Interventions Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself The Alcoholic Family in Recovery: A Developmental Model OTHER GREAT RESOURCES