Alcohol in Pregnancy

The negative effects of alcohol on pregnancy are now well known and documented.

Although the majority of this harm is related to the ingestion of large quantities of alcohol , there is no “safe” dose that can be taken without risk.

Therefore, during pregnancy, it is best to ABSTAIN COMPLETELY FROM THE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC.

Harm of Alcohol in Pregnancy

The children of mothers who have had serious alcoholism problems during pregnancy are subject to a typical syndrome , characterized by dysfunctions of the nervous system (up to a mere mental retardation ), growth and immune deficiencies, but also real morphogenetic alterations (the aesthetics of the face are also seriously compromised). Alcohol, which crosses the placental barrier without any problem and quickly reaches the structures most sensitive to its toxicity, has in fact a teratogenic action ; as such, it can produce alterations in fetal development and damage to various organs and functions.

In this regard, doctors speak of SAF, an acronym for Fetal Alcoholic Syndrome (or alcoholic embryo-fetopathy), which can manifest itself with various levels of severity, therefore with nuanced or more or less severe symptoms.

Is There a Safe Dose of Alcohol?

Although the incidence of this characteristic clinical picture, including the less evident forms, is found in more than half of alcoholic mothers, it is not yet clear what the exact influence of the extent of alcoholism on the development of the syndrome is. A dose of 30 grams of alcohol taken daily for all the first 90 days of pregnancy (eg 300 ml of wine per day or 600 ml of beer) seems to represent an 11% risk factor in this sense. In this early period, the fetusit is in fact particularly at risk, because it is subject to intense phenomena of cellular proliferation and specialization. Even the consumption of small quantities of alcohol could therefore cause serious damage to the unborn child, given that there is a genetic susceptibility with an individual danger threshold different from subject to subject.

Alcohol in the 2nd and 3rd Quarter

As mentioned, it is best not to drink alcohol during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester .

Subsequently, if the mother cannot give it up even after having received support in the structures specialized in care and help, she should try to limit the doses as much as possible, taking alcohol only during meals and in any case without exceeding a glass of wine or can of beer a day. Consuming large quantities of alcohol in the second half of pregnancy, in fact, while not causing a fetal alcohol syndrome with classic facial dimorphism, can cause serious and permanent neuronal damage to the unborn child, with consequent psychomotor retardation. Furthermore, immediately after birth, the newborn may present with withdrawal crises characterized by restlessness , vomiting , tremors, hyperreflexia and convulsions .

The smoking and drug abuse, and anxiety contribute to aggravating the clinical manifestations associated to the important consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.


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