Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy - Characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is definitely something you should avoid, although drinking a glass or two of red wine daily is a usual part of the Mediterranean diet.


Because everything you eat or drink during pregnancy is directly transferred through your blood to the placenta and your baby.

If you drink alcohol, it also goes your child.

Given that most women do not know they are pregnant until 6 weeks after conception or later, there may be a problem if you regularly consume it.

However, there is no evidence that a few drinks in some circumstances can seriously harm your child, so do not worry if you had a few drinks before you knew you were pregnant. As soon as you find out that you're pregnant, you should stop drinking alcohol.

There is no lower limit below which drinking alcohol during pregnancy could be recommended without restrictions.

Therefore, it is safest to completely give it up.

Negative Effects of Alcohol

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy

Scientists agree that even a very little alcohol may harm the unborn child.

For example, the studies have demonstrated that daily intake of 29 grams of alcohol during pregnancy - which corresponds to about one and a half glasses (of around 0.2 l) of white wine - lowers the IQ in children by seven IQ points on average.

Long-term effects of alcohol which have been observed in children whose mothers drank alcohol moderately during pregnancy include:

  • Small bodily proportions and reduced weight
  • Slower development of the child during adulthood
  • Deformation of the ribs
  • Spine deformation
  • Finger and hand deformation
  • Reduced jaw mobility
  • Facial abnormalities
  • Reduced eye movement
  • Short-sightedness
  • Breathing problems
  • Poorly developed ear-conches
  • Deformation of internal organs
  • Heart problems
  • Problems with kidneys and urinary tract
  • Genital malformations
  • Problems in the central nervous system
  • Mental retardation
  • Learning difficulties
  • Hyperactivity in childhood
  • Reduced physical coordination

Characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy - effects of alcohol abuse:

Children of alcoholic mothers are in the worst case born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

Those children have lower birth weight, a smaller amount of fatty tissue, and prenatal and postnatal disorders in growth and development.

They often have facial deformities and malformations in internal organ function, heart defects, unusually shaped genitals, urinary tract disorders and disorders in mental and psychomotor development.

Breastfeeding and Alcohol

Breastfeeding and Alcohol

During breastfeeding it is recommended to reduce its intake to one or a maximum of two drinks per week.

Larger amounts are dangerous, both for the child's motor development and for its progress, and can especially affect sleeping.

It is recommended not to breast-feed within 2-3 hours after drinking alcohol.

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