Why You Need To NOT Drink While Pregnant
Written by: Justin Cowart
For many years now we have been hearing a lot of mixed messages when it comes to drinking while pregnant. My wife and I have been looking to start our own family, so topics and concerns like this have been at the forefront of our minds.
The debate ranges everywhere from “it is never okay to drink any alcohol while pregnant” all the way to “it is good for you to drink one small glass of wine a day while pregnant.” The real question is, what are the long term consequences and effects of alcohol?
Birth Defects And The Risks
Chances are that many if not all of your friends are divided on this topic too. One might even confide that she chose to enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine during her pregnancy and feels that her child really did turn out fine, while another sees this as taking a highly unnecessary risk.
For the past several decades, many researchers have known that if one chooses to drink heavily during pregnancy, it can actually cause multiple types of birth defects. Yet the potential effects of even the smallest amounts of alcohol on a developing little baby are not well understood.
There are certain birth defect tests that are done during pregnancy that can look for possible problems with the baby. The way birth defects tend to develop is when something goes wrong with the chromosomes or genes, body chemistry, or even an organ. Some birth defects may have only a mild impact on a child’s life, or they could have major effects on the quality of life or even the lifespan of the person.
For example, one defect can be as mild as eye color, or even a leg or arm being slightly longer or shorter than the other, but only to the point where you can’t truly notice. Some major defects, however, could go as far as the heart or any other organs not developing properly, which could lead to early death.
With just these couple of examples, it seems that if you choose to become pregnant, then you should stay completely away from drinking any alcohol at all. If that sounds like something you couldn’t do for 9 months, then having a little one any time soon may not be in your best interest.
Besides, why would you want to even come close to doing something that could harm in some way the life that you have chosen to be the steward and protector of?
Fetal Alcohol Exposure Affects Multiple Generations
A brand new study that was conducted by researchers from Binghamton University found that when a mother decides to drink any alcohol during her pregnancy, even the most minute dose, she can increase the chances of the next three generations of her children developing alcoholism.
Nicole Cameron, the team lead of the study and assistant professor of psychology, was the first to seek out and investigate the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on potential alcohol-related behavior (sensitivity to and consumption of alcohol) on multiple generations that were not directly exposed to any alcohol while still inside the uterus during their pregnancy.
During this study, pregnant rats received an equivalent of exactly one glass of wine consecutively for four days during gestational days 17-20, which is the equivalent of the second trimester in humans. After giving birth, the juvenile female and male offspring were then tested for alcohol or water consumption.
The adolescent males were also tested for their sensitivity to any alcohol by getting injected with a very high-alcohol dose, which made them completely unresponsive (they were drunk and laid on their backs) and the researchers measured the amount of time it took for them to recover their senses (getting all the way back up and standing on all four feet).
The results of this study seem to strongly suggest that if a mother drinks any amount of alcohol during her pregnancy, she then places the heavy burden of having an increased risk of becoming alcoholic by nature on her progeny.
It seems somewhat silly to think that any type of study like this should even be necessary. The way I see it, if you chose to have the responsibility of growing and nurturing a little human inside your body, why on earth would you knowingly and willingly risk harming the little baby that has absolutely no say at all?
I took this study to heart because I am someone looking to start a family and have been for quite some time. In controversial cases like this, it is really best to take the safest route, especially since another life is involved.
Let us know your thoughts and leave your comments and opinions about this study in the comments below.
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Justin Cowart is a writer and researcher that loves to learn more about health, life, consciousness and making the world a better place. He loves music, traveling, meditation, video games and spending time with family and friends. He believes in baby steps and lifestyle changes in order to live a full life. In 2014, he lost around 40lbs from baby steps and emotional detoxing.
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