Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report that concluded that no amount of alcohol during pregnancy is safe for the developing fetus.
Most of us are aware that alcohol usage during pregnancy isn’t healthy to mom or baby, but this report is the first to suggest that no amount is safe.
According to Michael Wolfe, MD, a maternal-fetal specialist with Ascension Medical Group, the report found that if a woman drank alcohol during her first trimester, it increased the risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders 12 times; drinking during the first and second trimesters increased the risk 61 times; and drinking during all three trimesters increased the risk 65 times.
“We don’t know what amount is safe, so we don’t recommend drinking during pregnancy,” Dr. Wolfe says. “If you are actively trying to become pregnant, you should stop consuming alcohol in preparation for a pregnancy.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are a group of conditions that can occur when then mother drinks during pregnancy. Some of the effects of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are:
- Low birth weight
- Poor coordination
- Hyperactive behavior
- Learning disabilities
“Fetal alcohol syndrome, which is part of the FASD spectrum, is completely avoidable,” says Dr. Wolfe. “The behavioral problems and learning difficulties a child can face can last a lifetime, so any mother that avoids alcohol during her pregnancy is doing the best thing for her child.”