What If I Only Stop Drinking Until My Baby Is Born?

What If I Only Stop Drinking Until My Baby Is Born?A woman is wise who stops drinking during her pregnancy. A woman who is considering getting pregnant should also discontinue using alcohol, because she may not know that she is pregnant for several weeks or even months into a pregnancy, and the early stages are a critical time for the fetus.

Alcohol’s Effect during Pregnancy

When a pregnant woman drinks, alcohol passes through the placenta to her fetus. Because the fetus is a fragile and immature body, the alcohol does not break down as quickly as it does in an adult’s body. Therefore, the alcohol level of the baby’s blood can be higher and remain elevated longer than the level in the mother’s blood.

Due to a higher level of alcohol sustained over a longer period of time, some babies suffer lifelong damage. According to the March of Dimes, a non-profit advocacy organization for babies and children, problems associated with exposure to alcohol before birth have been given the term “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders” (FASDs). Each year in the United States up to 40,000 babies are born with FASDs.

Alcohol’s Effect on Your Body

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) women are at a greater risk than men for developing alcohol-related problems. This is because alcohol is dispersed in the water of the body, and women typically have less water in their bodies than men. Therefore, a woman’s brain and other organs are exposed to more alcohol and to more of the toxic byproducts that result when the body breaks down and eliminates alcohol. The NIAAA reports the following risks for women and alcohol:

  • Women are more likely than men to develop alcoholic hepatitis (liver inflammation) and to die from cirrhosis
  • Women are more vulnerable than men to alcohol-induced brain damage
  • Heavy drinking increases the risk of breast cancer and is linked to cancers of the digestive track and of the head and neck
  • Women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease

Alcohol and Nursing

Keep in mind that just as alcohol consumption can pass from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy, alcohol also passes to a newborn during nursing. Therefore, even if you drink just a small amount while you are nursing, you are passing a significant amount of alcohol to your baby because his body does not have the capacity to process the alcohol as well.

Help for Alcoholic Mothers

Quitting alcohol can be a difficult choice, but it is an important choice to make for your health and the health of your unborn child. If you need help to achieve this goal, please call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about alcohol rehab. We are here to help.