Drinking wine during pregnancy

by Luis Bobadilla

There have been many articles written about drinking wine (or alcohol in general) during pregnancy, and it is a subject that generates a lot of debate and research.

Some experts say that drinking wine in moderation during pregnancy is fine, but others believe that taking one drink is very dangerous for the baby’s health. What is not debatable is that what women eat or drink while pregnant goes directly through their bloodstream into the placenta to, literally, be digested by the fetus. If a pregnant woman drinks a glass of wine, a beer or cocktail, the fetus ingests the same.

For the fetus, alcohol interferes with its ability to get enough oxygen and nourishment for normal cell development in the brain and other body organs. A study has shown that a developing fetus has very little tolerance to alcohol and infants born to mothers who drink during pregnancy can have serious problems.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a set of mental and physical disorders that develops in some unborn babies when the mother drinks too much alcohol during pregnancy. A baby born with FAS, or even the less severe FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effects), can have serious disadvantages, which could require a lifetime of special care. There’s even research that indicates that women who plan to become pregnant should stop drinking even before they become pregnant.

The debate is trying to discern how much is too much and therefore when the consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages becomes a risk to the unborn baby.

Until these days, it was said that the only safe measure was to not drink any alcohol at all. However, in the UK, health authorities say that pregnant women and those hoping to conceive can safely drink up to two glasses of wine a week without harming the fetus.

On the other hand, there are few experts that are totally contrary to the fact that pregnant women drink alcohol during the gestation period and call to give up alcohol completely. There is a growing research of evidence suggesting that from binge drinking to low doses of alcohol can cause harm, although there are people who still defends that one or two glasses of wine a week do not have to be harmful.

Whatever the case is, and given the fact that a safe quantity of consumption is not known and the risk of alcohol may affect the future baby, it is best not to drink wine during pregnancy. It is also advisable to consult with doctors if there are any doubts or any problems in the pregnancy process.

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