How Much Alcohol Can A Pregnant Woman Drink
I'll have a shot of whiskey, a gin tonic,and a home pregnancy test to go, please. Hey guys, Tara here for Dnews and you knowwho has it the worst? Pregnant women. They can't have caffeine, they can't smoke, andthey definitely can't drink alcohol though that doesn't always stop everyone. According to the CDC, 1 in 13 women admitto drinking while pregnant, and 1 in 70 women admit to binge drinking. Some states, includingAlaska, which has the highest rate of fetal alcohol syndrome in the country have evenresorted to administering free pregnancy tests at bars, in order to raise awareness aboutthe disease.
But what is fetal alcohol syndrome? And isit a guaranteed thing if you drink while pregnant? Well, not really. We've known since the late60s that alcohol can cause birth defects. When a pregnant woman drinks, the alcoholpasses through the placenta to the fetus, and gets into your baby's bloodstream. Theproblem is that babies metabolize alcohol way slower than adults do so 1 drink toyou is like 4 drinks to them. Now 4 drinks probably won't harm you but in fetuses,it interferes with the delivery of oxygen and nutrition they need in order to keep growing.That's why exposure to alcohol especially in excessive amounts can disrupts your baby'sdevelopment, causing growth problems and brain
damage. Physically, it has very characteristic effects.Children with FAS typically have microcephaly, which is a smaller than normal head; as wellas eyes that are smaller, and more far apart, than normal. Now you're probably wondering, why do womencontinue to drink during pregnancy, even when they know it's bad for their baby? There are a couple reasons. For one, mostwomen don't even know they're pregnant, until they're at least a month in. And researchshows that alcohol is the most harmful to
fetuses during the first 3 months of pregnancy.So there's a good chance many of the women whose children have FAS, didn't even knowthey were doing them harm. Now you could argue that if you found out you were pregnant, andknew you'd been drinking heavily during that time, you could always abort. But it's unrealisticto expect everyone to take that option. Another potential cause of FAS, is plain andsimple alcoholism. It's a disease, and a devastating one that can take over our rational brainand make us do things that we know are bad. But how bad is bad? And how much alcohol wouldit take to cause something like fetal alcohol syndrome?
Think of like a spectrum. On the one end,having 1 drink per day or less, has really not been associated with any risk of FAS.On the other end of the spectrum, you have children with fullon FAS, whose mothers typicallyconsumed 8 10 drinks per day. In the middle, women who have 46 drinks per day, typicallyproduce children with mild FAS. But even 12 drinks per day, substantially increases theodds of stunting your child's growth. Which is why public health experts recommendthe quot;better safe than sorryquot; approach. No alcohol, no worries. What do you think? One drink won't kill yourunborn baby, but is the 30minute buzz you
get really worth the constant worrying? Leaveyour thoughts in the comments below and as always, thank you guys for watching.