Drinking Alcohol During the First Trimester of Pregnancy
on Apr 14, 2013
by Monica Scott
When pregnancy takes you by surprise and you had been drinking alcohol without knowing that you are pregnant, you wonder: Will it affect the baby?
Alcohol and pregnancy should never be mixed. In fact, it is a leading concern for all women. They wonder if it is okay for them to continue drinking alcohol even after pregnancy. Most women realize the adverse effects alcohol can have on pregnancy and plan to abstain from it during pregnancy. However, unplanned pregnancies can take you by surprise and worry you because you were drinking alcohol without knowing that you are pregnant. Will it affect the baby is the first question that crosses the mind. The first trimester, mind you, is very crucial because the baby develops the most in the first trimester. Most of the organs are developed at this time and anything can be dangerous for the baby. The period is very sensitive and knowing what alcohol can do to you and your baby at this time is important so that you keep away from it at least once you find out that you are pregnant. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
You may wonder WHY alcohol is harmful. The answer is very simple. It is toxic. You are used to its effects and thus, you don’t realize the dissociation feeling that it comes with. However, even small doses of alcohol are toxic and can impair the functioning of the brain. You may be accustomed to it but your developing baby is not. The sad part is that alcohol can pass through the protective placenta because it is a relatively small molecule. While the placenta blocks many harmful chemicals, it fails to protect the baby from alcohol molecules. Thus, the concentration of alcohol in the fetus increases alarmingly based on your intake. This alcohol can cause numerous different problems such as development disorders.
You have to be the most careful during your first trimester because this is when all the development occurs and if you are able to make it through the first trimester, it is most likely that you will make it through the rest of the pregnancy with ease too. If you consume alcohol, miscarriage risks will be very high. If miscarriage does not occur, it is possible your baby will suffer from one or more birth defects. There is a condition called the fetal alcohol syndrome seen in kids whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy. The symptoms of this syndrome include poor sleep, poor coordination, and delay in development, facial characteristic problems, and so on.
It is common knowledge that alcohol is harmful and most women abstain when they are pregnant. As aforementioned, there might be times when you don’t realize that you are pregnant and consume alcohol like you always do. Experts say that extremely early in the pregnancy, alcohol will barely harm the child because it is still an embryo. And embryo does not get blood supply from the mother. The embryo is thus usually safe. By the time alcohol becomes dangerous for the baby, you will realize that you are pregnant. Then you can start abstaining.
It is highly recommended that you abstain right from the time you plan on getting pregnant instead of waiting to get pregnant and then abstaining. You should at least reduce your alcohol intake once you decide that you want to get pregnant.
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Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.