Addiction and Pregnancy - Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

Addiction and Pregnancy - Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

Addiction and Pregnancy

Substance abuse is always harmful, but women who use substances during pregnancy are placing two lives at risk. In the United States, the prevalence of drug use among pregnant women is on the rise. Although addiction is a serious and sometimes life-threatening disease, there is hope for pregnant women and their babies. The first step toward recovery is to learn about drug addiction and its potential complications and this comprehensive article will offer addicts or their loved ones a good place to start.

Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

While the debate rages on regarding whether drinking small amounts of certain alcoholic beverages such as red wine is detrimental to consumers’ health, the verdict has long been in on drinking during pregnancy. There is no safe amount of alcohol use for pregnant women. Drinking during pregnancy causes health risks to both mothers and children, but early intervention can help.

Risks to the Mother

Drinking during pregnancy causes liver and kidney damage, weakens the immune system, contributes to bone loss, and raises women’s risks of high blood pressure, cancer, premature birth, and preterm abortion. Despite these troubling associations, between 15 and 20 percent of women report drinking at some point during their pregnancies. Women with risky drinking behaviors or known alcohol addictions are statistically less likely to maintain abstinence throughout their pregnancies, but seeking medical and mental health care can dramatically increase alcohol-addicted mothers’ chances of getting sober and staying that way.

Risks to the Baby

In utero exposure to alcohol is known to increase the risk of birth defects, including kidney, bone, heart, and hearing problems. It also raises the chances that the baby will be born with an alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND). Children born with ARND often struggle with behavioral problems, learning disorders, poor judgment, low attention spans, and poor impulse control, and many are also affected by other birth defects.

One of the best-known consequences of drinking during pregnancy is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS causes nervous system issues, developmental problems, and abnormal facial features. It is often accompanied by ARND and birth defects.

The Bottom Line

Addiction always causes suffering. When pregnant women abuse drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products, they’re not just harming themselves, though. They’re also harming their babies. Anyone who is struggling to quit using drugs or alcohol while pregnant should seek help immediately to avoid further complications. Call 1000 Islands Wellness today to get the help that you need.