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No Consumption of Alcohol During Pregnancy

By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online

A study cited by a group of paediatricians from the American Academy of Paediatricians found the risk of having a baby with growth retardation goes up even when a woman has just one alcoholic drink in a day.

In an effort to once and for all put a rest to any debate about drinking during pregnancy, they put out a clear message: don’t do it, ever, at all, not even a tiny bit.

“No amount of alcohol should be considered safe to drink during any trimester of pregnancy,” the group wrote.

The group released a report on Monday identifying prenatal exposure to alcohol as the leading preventable cause of birth defects, as well as cognitive problems later in life.

Health authorities in nearly every other country also advise pregnant women unequivocally not to drink, according to the International Alliance for Responsible drinking.

“There is no safe amount, no safe time, and no safe type of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. It’s just not worth the risk,” said Dr. Cheryl Tan, an epidemiologist at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk the baby could have myriad problems, including trouble with hearing and vision, and with the heart, bones and kidneys. Children of mothers who drank while pregnant were also more likely to have neurodevelopment issues such as troubles with abstract reasoning, information processing, and attention – deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Women who drank in their first trimester were 12 times more likely to have a child with these issues, compared to women who didn’t drink at all. First and second-trimesters increased the risk by a factor of 65.

Previous studies in animals and humans have shown that alcohol exposure is related to a decrease in the size of the cerebellum, a part of the brain, according to Rajesh Miranda, associate professor of neuroscience and therapeutics at Texas A &M Health Science Centre. 

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