Why You Should Never Drink Alcohol When Pregnant

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When you're pregnant, you get a lot of conflicting advice on what you should and shouldn't do. Your friends, family, the Internet, and other sources will have opinions about a number of things that you should be doing while you're pregnant. Drinking alcohol while pregnant is one thing that you may hear differing ideas about.

In fact, drinking alcohol can be very dangerous for your baby. When you consume alcohol, it goes through your bloodstream to your baby's. Unfortunately, your baby's liver isn't developed enough to be able to handle it. This can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which can include the following health problems for your baby:

  • Impaired growth (physically smaller than most babies)
  • Smaller than normal head size
  • Misshapen eyes
  • Flattened nose and face
  • Heart, kidneys, muscles, joints, and other organ defects
  • Speech disorders
  • Hyperactivity
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental retardation
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Damaged central nervous system

These effects may become apparent the moment you first hold your baby, or you may not notice them for several years. In the end, it's best to minimize the chance of such problems and refrain from consuming alcohol while you're pregnant. If you have any questions about what you should do to help your baby's development, talk to John A. White M.D. Obstetrics and Gynecology. We can talk to you about prenatal care and what you can be doing to help your baby's growth and development throughout your pregnancy.

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