How alcohol affects the unborn baby

Topic Overview What effect does alcohol have on a fetus?

How alcohol affects the unborn baby

Any drug including alcohol that you consume can impact on your unborn child. If you swallow a drug, your body will deliver it to the baby through the placenta.

If you inject a substance, it goes to the baby in larger amounts. Inhaling a drug has almost the same results. Even drugs prescribed to you by your health care provider before you became pregnant might be harmful to both you and your unborn baby. If you are pregnant and you drink beer, wine, hard liquor, or other alcoholic beverages, the alcohol not only gets into your blood but it also goes to your baby through the placenta.

In the baby's immature body, alcohol is broken down much more slowly than in your body. While the alcohol may affect you only temporarily, it can slow down your baby's growth and cause a variety of problems.

Because a safe level of alcohol intake during pregnancy cannot be determined, the March of Dimes and the Centers for Disease Control both recommend that if you are pregnant you should not consume any alcohol including beer, wine, wine coolers and hard liquor throughout your pregnancy and while nursing.

Make sure your health care provider knows you are pregnant and check with your health care provider before you take any medications. Also, keep in mind that other things like caffeinevitaminsand herbal teas and remedies can affect your baby.

Street drugs can be especially harmful to you and your unborn child and should always be avoided. Stop taking the drug immediately and contact your doctor, local health care provider, or local hospital.

How alcohol affects the unborn baby

Want more Information about Medications and Pregnancy? Food and Drug Administration rates both over-the-counter drugs as well as medications your health care provider may prescribe. The FDA system ranks drugs as follows: Category A - these are medications and drugs that have been tested for safety during pregnancy and have been found to be safe.

Category B - includes drugs that have been used during pregnancy and do not appear to cause major birth defects or other problems. Category C - these drugs are more likely to cause problems for the pregnant woman or her baby. The category also includes drugs for which safety studies have not been finished.

These drugs often come with a warning that they should be used only if the benefits of taking them outweigh the risks. Category D - are drugs that have clear health risks for the fetus and include alcohol and lithium. Category X - drugs that have been shown to cause birth defects and should never be taken during pregnancy.

This includes drugs to treat skin conditions like cystic acne and psoriasis. Aspirin and other drugs containing salicylate are not recommended during pregnancy, especially during the last three months.

For additional information on over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs as they relate to pregnancy, please visit Medications and Pregnancy. You may also find the following websites helpful: March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

Centers for Disease Control provides information about use of medications during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. National Women's Health Information Center information and referral center for women helps a pregnant woman learn what she can to do to promote a healthy pregnancy.

Physicians' Desk Reference is written in lay terms and is based on the FDA-approved drug information. It gives consumers explanations for the safe and effective use of prescription and non-prescription drugs.

National Institutes of Health provides prescription and over-the-counter medication information as well as information on herbs and supplements. What are Additional Problems with consuming Alcohol? Women who drink alcohol while pregnant are more likely to have a miscarriage, a stillbirth, a low birth weight baby, or a baby with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS.

The effects of FAS last a lifetime. FAS cannot be reversed but it can be prevented by not drinking alcohol when you are pregnant.

While many women are able to drink and their children are born perfectly healthy, you will be gambling with the life of her child if you do drink alcohol. Although many women are aware that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects, many do not realize that moderate, or even light drinking also may harm the baby.

For additional information about alcohol use during your pregnancy, please visit Pregnancy and Alcohol on the website PregnancyAndChildren. If you are not able to stop drinking, you should contact her doctor, local Alcohol Anonymous or local alcohol treatment program.

The Substance Abuse Treatment Facility locator can also help you find a alcohol treatment programs in your area.Photo by ©regardbouddhiste.com drinking alcohol or using drugs when pregnant is the most common cause of health problems in newborn babies. When . If you smoke, drink alcohol, or ingest caffeine, so does the fetus.

If you use marijuana or crystal meth, your fetus also feels the impact of these dangerous drugs. And if you are addicted to cocaine -- also called coke, snow, or blow -- you're not only putting your own life on the line, but you are risking the health of your unborn baby.

All drinks containing alcohol can harm your baby. There is no known safe amount of alcohol that you can consume if you are pregnant. It is best to discuss any drinking patterns with your healthcare provider.

Alcohol Effects on the Baby. Your baby is in a constant state of growth and development over the entire course of your pregnancy. In addition, alcohol negatively affects men’s sperm cells. As the sperm fertilizes the woman’s egg, it introduces the effects of the alcohol to the newly fertilized embryo.

Effects of Alcohol on an Unborn Baby. A pregnant woman places her unborn child at risk of several issues if she continues to . In addition, alcohol negatively affects men’s sperm cells. As the sperm fertilizes the woman’s egg, it introduces the effects of the alcohol to the newly fertilized embryo.

Effects of Alcohol on an Unborn Baby. A pregnant woman places her unborn child at risk of several issues if . Any drug including alcohol that you consume can impact on your unborn child. If you swallow a drug, your body will deliver it to the baby through the placenta.

If you inject a substance, it goes to the baby .

Drug Use Hurts Unborn Babies | Easy to Read Drug Facts