Despite constant reminder that a woman must not intake alcohol while pregnant, still a number of mothers do so in ‘moderation’ -- or at least, that's what they call it. In reality, ingestion of alcoholic drinks even in small quantities affects the fetus. Whenever the mother drinks, so does the unborn child. The alcohol passes through the placenta and into the fetus’ undeveloped body. Alcohol breaks up more slowly in the fetus than in adults thus causing more damage in the process.
The disorders contributed to alcohol intake during pregnancy are called the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or FASDs which range from a mental disability and physical defects to death. Alcohol can cause mental defects like retardation, learning, and behavioral problems. It can also contribute to physical ailments, for instance, heart and other organ disorders, low birth weight and facial deformities. Studies show that drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the probability of miscarriage and premature birth. The risk of stillbirth was also found to be higher for women who drink while pregnant than those who don’t.
Breastfeeding mothers must also avoid any intake of alcohol. Alcohol can get into breast milk and can be passed to the baby through breastfeeding. Babies who ingest alcohol are found to be slow in the development of their motor skills compared to babies whose mothers have not been drinking alcohol.
So if you think you are pregnant or you plan to get pregnant, it is important to always remember how alcohol intake can affect your unborn child.