Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy is the Leading Cause of Birth Defects
|Alcohol Use During Pregnancy. Image source:pixabay|
While it is commendable that most women stop drinking when pregnant, many still admit to drinking moderately throughout the pregnancy. This brought about the need to publish the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Syndrome report in a bid to refute a recent study that suggested that the use of lower alcohol levels during pregnancy could be considered as being safe. The group of pediatricians feel that this is misleading as more evidence only points at the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
As a matter of fact, 30 years worth of research clearly connects alcohol use during pregnancy with birth effects, says Dr. Janet Williams, one of the report’s lead authors and a professor of pediatrics at the university of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. According to Dr. Williams, prenatal exposure to alcohol is the leading preventable cause of not only birth defects, but developmental disabilities as well. These birth defects have been known to affect the kidneys, heart, hearing and bones.
Though it is difficult for doctors to diagnose the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders(FASDs) in children who have them, they are quite prevalent and it is possible that they are to blame whenever a child exhibits a learning disorder, developmental delay or behavioral difficulties.
The toxic effects of alcohol exposure to the fetus can alter the brain function leading to mild or severe problems in attention, judgement, language skills, memory and performance in school. The three common facial features of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are a thin upper lip, a reduced distance between the eye’s inner and outer corner, and a smooth philtrum-the groove between the nose and the upper lips. Though difficult to detect, recognizing FASDs early improves the child’s long-term outcome.
Women are advised to stop drinking all kinds of alcohol as soon as they realize that they are expecting; this guarantees that FASDs does not occur.
Until we see each other again,