Frightening myths and encouraging truths about the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding
In the first two weeks after conception, alcohol can not harm the fetus, but it can lead to termination of pregnancy, which the woman does not even know about yet. And this is just one of the hidden dangers of drinking wine and champagne.
Who to trust?
Despite the seemingly obvious harm of alcohol to a pregnant woman, you can find arguments on the Internet that in minimal doses, some strong drinks are quite acceptable. Some young mothers tell on forums that they allowed themselves a glass of dry red wine during pregnancy and then gave birth to healthy children. Even a doctor in a women’s clinic can tell you that half a glass of champagne on a holiday is acceptable. So who should I trust? Does alcohol penetrate the placental barrier? Our expert has a clear opinion on this issue.
Prokofiev Viktoriya Vladimirovna
obstetrician-gynecologist of the first qualification category of the MEDSI Clinical and diagnostic center in Groholsky lane
Myth about the benefits of wine
“Any strong drink, even in small doses, has a strong toxic effect on the child. Regular consumption of 50 grams of alcohol in the 1st trimester of pregnancy is already enough for the fetus to be born with facial abnormalities.
There is an opinion about the benefits of red wine in late pregnancy. It is worth noting that the” stimulation ” of childbirth with alcohol has no scientific justification, on the contrary, it relaxes the uterus. Previously, intravenous ethanol was used to prevent miscarriage and premature birth. Today, more effective methods and drugs are used for this purpose. Some experts suggest that drinking a small amount of alcohol helps to relax during “training” contractions-Braxton-Hicks contractions, but of course, no one would recommend this.”
What exactly is the risk of taking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy?
Ethyl alcohol easily penetrates the placental barrier and has a toxic effect on the child. After that, it spreads to all organs and is a great threat due to the immaturity of the kidneys and other organs of the excretory system, but mainly due to the imperfection of the enzyme systems that break down alcohol.
The use of alcoholic beverages by a pregnant woman in the first trimester causes a cytotoxic effect, leading to the death of the fetus. Further exposure to high doses of ethanol leads to the development of FAS – fetal alcohol syndrome. This is a combination of congenital physical and mental defects that manifest at birth and remain with the child for life. In particular:
brain abnormalities and disorders related to the activity of the Central nervous system;
weight and height deficits;
specific features of the structure of the face and skull;
joint abnormalities, congenital heart defects, abnormalities of the external genitals, disorders of fine motor skills.
How to replace strong drinks?
It is no secret that in the first weeks after conception, not all women know about their situation. While the expectant mother will buy pregnancy tests and please the father of the child, it may take several weeks. Someone has a couple of months! Not knowing about her situation, a woman periodically allows herself a glass of strong drink in her usual mode, for example, during lunch (brunch) with her friends on a weekend.
According to the doctor, in the first two weeks after conception, alcohol intake can prevent the implantation of the embryo to the wall of the uterus and lead to the termination of the pregnancy that has begun, which the woman does not know about.
As for the holidays, you can easily afford soft drinks, since their use does not pose risks to the development of the fetus.
Is alcohol acceptable for nursing mothers?
It is better to limit the use of your favorite drinks during this period to a reasonable limit or completely abandon them. Who recommends that you feed your baby with breast milk for up to six months, gradually introducing regular foods, but continuing to breastfeed for up to two years. Given this duration of feeding, it is better for women to refrain from experimenting with strong drinks. Ethanol does enter the breast milk, and only a small amount of it gets into the baby’s blood. If a woman does not abuse alcohol and remains within the norm, which is considered conditionally safe: 150 -200 ml of wine or 500 ml of low-alcohol 3.5% beer, then a one-time “contact” with a small amount of alcohol is not associated with a clinically significant effect on the child’s body. However, this does not mean that nursing mothers should allow themselves too much. If women set strict limits on alcohol consumption during the GW period, some will prefer to give it up. The benefits of GW outweigh the risks, and therefore nursing mothers should follow the rules and not forget about the health of the baby.