Anything that a pregnant mother consumes also gets consumed by her unborn child.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 10 pregnant women drink and 1 in 50 women binge drink which is more than five drinks a day. – Alcoholism rates in Ireland.
It is important for pregnant mothers to never drink during their pregnancy or to get help if they have to protect the health of their child.
Alcohol gets passed on to the baby through the umbilical cord.
There is never a safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant and should not be consumed, even in moderation.
Stillbirth, miscarriage, and physical, behavioural, and intellectual disabilities can have an impact on your child for its whole life.
How alcohol can affect unborn children forever
Children can have a range of high-impacting disorders as a result of their mother’s drinking while in the womb.
These are referred to as fetal alcohol syndrome disorders and can include some abnormal facial features like a smooth ridge between the nose and the upper lip.
There are also further physical problems children can experience such as small head sizes, short heights, and low body weights.
There are mental issues such as poor coordination, hyperactive behaviour, poor memory, learning disabilities, speech delays, and a low IQ.
Health issues can include sleeping as an infant, vision or hearing problems, and issues with the heart, kidney, or bones.
Read next: ‘My mother, the alcoholic: living with foetal alcohol syndrome’ by The Guardian.
Pregnant women should stop drinking as early as possible instead of waiting until rock bottom.
As soon as you realize your drinking is out of control, it is important to see a professional to help you through your withdrawal symptoms and to be honest about how bad your addiction is.
Let your friends and family help you on this journey and let them know that you do not need judgement but you need help to ensure the safety of you and your child.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin, was founded in 1988 as a residential alcohol rehab treating people suffering from alcohol addiction.
Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies.
For more information on treatment for alcoholism, read more here.