Most mothers-to-be understand that drinking is not good for their unborn child. But did you know that children born to mothers who drink sometimes suffer from a type of brain damage called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)? And did you know that children with FAS are generally taken from their families at an early age and are more likely than others to spend their lives in foster care? Unfortunately, thats not the worst of it. If you are pregnant, are planning to be, or know someone who is, you should consider alcohol rehab as soon as possible.
Alcohol has been found to be acutely toxic to the fetus. And it doesn’t take a lot of alcohol to cause these problems. A safe level cannot be defined any alcohol during pregnancy is dangerous. One in 100 children is born with FAS. It is the leading cause of preventable retardation and birth defects. It causes brain damage, facial deformities, and growth deficits. Heart, liver, and kidney defects also are common, as well as vision and hearing problems. People with FAS have difficulties with learning, attention, memory, and problem solving.
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) points out that “when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, such as beer, wine, or mixed drinks, so does her baby. Alcohol passes through the placenta right into the developing baby. The baby may suffer lifelong damage as a result.”
This information isn’t new. Most women have at least heard about possible problems associated with drinking during pregnancy. But many women still dont take it seriously enough: those who are addicted to alcohol shouldn’t even consider having a baby until they’ve completed an alcohol rehab program.
FAS was first noted back in 1973, when researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle observed birth defects directly associated with alcohol use during pregnancy. It had earlier been thought that malnutrition might be responsible for these defects. But the pattern of malformation was not seen in children born to malnourished women, only in those who drank during pregnancy. Since then, the medical establishment sat up and took notice, and the exact criteria for diagnosing FAS have been established. Certainly, anyone considering pregnancy shouldnt drink. But problem drinkers should first complete an alcohol rehab program.
Here are some facts about preventing FAS:
There is no safe alcohol, or safe amount of alcohol. Drinking any alcohol can hurt your unborn baby. Alcoholic drinks can include beer, wine, liquor, wine coolers, or mixed drinks.
Drinking alcohol may hurt one baby more than another. Every pregnancy is different. You could have one child born healthy and another child born with problems.
If you drank alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, stop drinking now. Any time a pregnant woman stops drinking, she decreases the risk of harm to the baby.
If you are trying to get pregnant, do not drink alcohol. You may not know you are pregnant right away.
If you drink regularly, get into an alcohol rehab center you get pregnant.
Many women are completely unaware of the consequences of drinking during pregnancy. Help your friends become more aware of the huge financial and emotional consequences of drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy.
And if a woman you know is suffering from alcoholism or even moderate regular drinking, she needs to know the effects it can have on her baby. Contact an alcohol treatment professional today for advice on how to help her into an alcohol rehab center immediately.