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The risks of alcohol in pregnancy

The risks of alcohol in pregnancy


The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, even in small amounts, is not recommended and can be extremely harmful to the baby. In pregnancy, with the woman’s body in constant transformation, it is important to ensure that the diet is cared for and correct for the baby’s evolution.

Since alcohol is a drug and even capable of causing addiction, its consumption will have a strong impact on the development of the embryo. Even though it’s legal, alcohol is still a drug! Any alcohol ingested will reach the baby through the placenta and in exactly the same amounts as ingested by the pregnant woman.

During pregnancy there should be no alcohol consumption, even in small amounts. It's important not to forget that while it's legal, alcohol is a drug! © Yana Moroz/Pexels

In this way, VillaRamadas explains the risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy. These are real and not just a myth created and passed down between generations.

Consequences of alcohol in pregnancy

As a drug capable of altering a person’s Central Nervous System (SNS) for a certain period of time, alcohol is dangerous for the pregnant woman and the baby. Remaining in the body for several hours, any amount, however small, will affect the embryo’s cognitive development.

Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, in any amount, is harmful and has serious consequences. The immediate effects of this risky behavior can be:

  • Miscarriage;
  • Growth restriction;
  • Physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities (fetal alcoholism syndrome);
  • Premature birth;
  • Baby’s death at birth.

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be precisely one of the negative effects of alcohol consumption in pregnancy. This pathology is linked to the development of the baby and includes physical, behavioral and/or cognitive deficiencies.

Baby pregnancy
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy will always have consequences for the newborn © Janko Ferlic/Unsplash

From the studies already published, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to problems such as:

  • Low birth weight;
  • Slow growth – below average height for example;
  • Physical changes in the face and small head;
  • Vision and hearing problems;
  • Malformations in organs such as the heart, kidneys or bones;
  • Heart problems;
  • Difficulty in the act of sucking during breastfeeding;
  • Lack of motor coordination and balance;
  • Cognitive difficulties that translate into learning, attention and concentration difficulties;
  • Delay in language/speech development and difficulty;
  • Intellectual disability and low IQ;
  • Memory problems;
  • Sleep problems;
  • Hyperactivity.

It is important to realize that these difficulties and consequences are not only evident during pregnancy and birth. These are issues that can be forever present in the baby’s life, having a great impact on their growth and development.

Is light consumption a possibility?

There are those who argue that there may be occasional light consumption of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy, but in reality there are not enough studies to support this idea. No matter how small the amount of alcohol present, it is always advisable not to consume any alcohol during pregnancy. And the same applies to meals made with alcohol.

© Daniel Herron/Unsplash

It is also necessary to emphasize that any drink, even if it is indicated as non-alcoholic, such as beer, should be avoided. This is because, in fact, they still have alcohol in their composition (no more than 0.5% as a rule, but most of the time they contain some alcohol content).

At VillaRamadas we are advocates that alcohol should not be consumed during this entire period of pregnancy. If you think you have an alcohol addiction and have found out you are pregnant, ask for help. If you don’t think you have a serious alcohol dependence, but you need help to change your habits, talk to us. Our team can help you at this stage to find new, healthier habits for you and your future baby.


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