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Alcohol Use and Pregnancy
By Julia Flynn Ph.D.

Alcohol use and abuse during anytime of pregnancy is dangerous, and is the proven cause of many severe, but preventable conditions known as "Birth Defects."  Some of the conditions are, low birth weight, retardation, prematurity, severe deformity, miscarriage, stillbirths, learning and emotional problems later on in childhood, undeveloped head and brain, and poorly formed organs such as the heart.

The most severe condition caused by drinking alcohol when a woman is pregnant, is a condition known as "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome." 

This condition is so severe; it alters the facial structure of the fetus as well as interferes with the development process.  Another severe condition caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy is known as "Fetal Alcohol Effects."  This condition is the cause of many defects, although quite as severe as (FAS).  Research say even one drink is unsafe for the fetus, and that these defects are mostly preventable if the mother avoids alcohol of any kind while she is pregnant.  Too often the woman is not aware that she is pregnant, and might have consumed alcohol in some considerable amount for some time. It is believed that if women are properly trained and educated in how to manage their personal affairs while they are pregnant and getting ready for the arrival of the baby, they might be less likely to drink alcohol.  Spouses should also be educated and be made aware of the seriousness of drinking during, and after delivery when the mother is nursing the baby.

It is of utmost importance to convey this message to all women as well as men about the dangers of taking even one drink during pregnancy.  Then we could be sure that we would have healthier babies being born, which would make life a little more pleasant for babies, as well as the parents who must go through the agony of seeing babies suffer day after day with conditions for which often times there is no cure.

For more on this important topic see:

http://www.cdc.gov
The March of Dimes: http://www.marchofdimes.com

By Julia Flynn Ph.D.


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