Alcohol in pregnancy: these are the risks for your baby

Abnormalities caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy range from mild neuro-behavioral problems to the full manifestation of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome symptoms

The International Day of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (ASF) and related disorders was celebrated this last 9 September, a disease that describes a series of effects that can occur in individuals whose mothers have consumed alcohol during pregnancy.

According to data collected by The Lancet Global Health – a British weekly magazine of general medicine – around 60% of women worldwide, drink alcohol at some point during their pregnancy. Alcohol is comparable to a proper drug, since in all people (not only in pregnant women) it causes a series of mechanisms that alter the proper functioning of the body: alteration of blood pressure, of kidney function, mood swings.

The greatest danger, however, lies in the fact that alcohol easily crosses the placenta, thus arriving directly at the fetus. As the baby is not yet able to metabolize alcohol, it could suffer serious damage to brain cells and to the tissues of the organs being formed.

Abnormalities caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy range from mild neuro-behavioral problems to the full manifestation of FAS symptoms, such as facial dimorphism, growth deficits and neuro-developmental disturbances of the central system. In particular, the fetus exposed to alcohol poisoning has a higher risk of being born underweight, with physical malformations or alterations in neurological development, and even injuries to internal organs (especially liver and kidney) can occur.

The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is always harmful, regardless of the amount consumed. The advice for mothers is therefore not to take any: even small doses can cause infertility, miscarriages, pre-term births, and in some cases perinatal death. Therefore, even if you are planning a pregnancy, you should avoid drinking alcohol. The same applies during breastfeeding, since any alcoholic drink taken passes through the placental barrier and is present in breast milk.

Not consuming alcohol is the safest choice for your baby, as it is preserving the stem cells of its umbilical cord. Find out how to do it with Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science.