If you are pregnant and you have doubts about whether to drink a little alcohol and decided to use the Internet to answer your question, you should probably be more confused than clear.
If you were to seek the opinion of friends who have been pregnant, the result should not have been different either. Some will censure you just for thinking about it, while others will say that they drank themselves during pregnancy and nothing bad happened. But we’re not talking about if you need a plastic surgery or dental veneers in Tijuana Mexico, it’s your child’s health and you should looking for a professional for such doubts.
Even doctors can provide contradictory advice. While everyone agrees that drinking alcohol in excess is wisely harmful, the same consensus does not exist when it comes to a mild or occasional consumption of alcohol. Some doctors completely prohibit alcohol consumption during pregnancy, while others say it is unlikely that an occasional glass of wine could harm your baby.
Effects of alcohol on pregnancy
Alcohol is a substance that freely crosses the placental barrier. This means that the baby will always have the same concentration of alcohol in the blood as his mother. However, there is an aggravating factor: contrary to what happens with the mother, the immature liver of the fetus has not yet been able to process the circulating alcohol.
We have known for decades that alcohol is a drug with teratogenic potential, that is, capable of causing malformations in fetuses. Some studies show that the same minimum amounts of alcohol in the blood of the mother are capable of causing changes in the cells of the fetus, particularly in neurons.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders encompass not only fetal malformations, but also less obvious changes in the child’s intellectual development, which can only become evident in late childhood or early adolescence.
For mothers who drank during pregnancy, having a perfect son from a structural point of view and who presents satisfactory intellectual and motor development in the first years of life is not a guarantee that it cannot show signs of FASD.
The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy also brings risks to the pregnancy itself, with the increased risk of miscarriage, premature births and intrauterine fetal death.
Alcohol easily crosses the placental barrier so that after 1 hour, the concentration of alcohol in the blood of the mother is equal to that of the blood of the fetus. In practice, this means that the fetus consumes the same amount of alcohol as you do.
There are studies that show that even in small doses, alcohol is capable of causing changes both in molecular level and in the level of craniofacial formation of the fetus.
Therefore, until there is evidence to the contrary, the most reasonable behavior is to completely avoid alcohol consumption, even for those women who are not yet pregnant, but are trying.