• Shruti GOCHHWAL

The Consequences of Drinking During Pregnancy

If you’re a woman who is in the habit of drinking alcohol, you might find yourself in a complicated situation when you become pregnant. It is a known fact that drinking alcohol often is not a very healthy habit. However, when you’re not able to avoid it even when you’re pregnant, its consequences on both you and your child can be disastrous.

Women struggling to give up this habit of excessive drinking have to cut down on the amount of alcohol they consume gradually. It might be a very challenging process, and you might ask questions like how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy, or is it safe to have a glass of wine while pregnant? Unfortunately, the answer to all these questions is no. Even a slight amount of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy can impact your child’s health in a very unpleasant way.

Effects of Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant

alcohol effects during pregnacy

A premature baby, Credits: Pixabay


Your unborn child is prone to developing various health issues as a result of your drinking alcohol during the time of your pregnancy. These health issues include:

  1. Premature birth of the baby

  2. A very low birth weight

  3. Chances of miscarriage. The fetus can die before you progress to the twentieth week of your pregnancy.

  4. Vision problems

  5. Skeletal problems

  6. Hearing problems

  7. Heart problems

  8. A variety of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

  9. Death of fetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy

Fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is characterized by the baby developing abnormal physical features. They may have a tiny head, a very low weight, suffer from stunted growth, and may have a ridge between their upper lip and nose.

Apart from unproportionate physical features, drinking can cause cognitive issues in your child also. He/she may develop a very poor memory, suffer from attention difficulties, and may be diagnosed with a range of learning disabilities. Sometimes the child also becomes hyperactive and exhibits various behavioral issues.

When to Stop Drinking in Pregnancy

when to stop drinking pregnancy

A pregnant woman refusing alcohol, Credits: Pixabay


There is a widespread myth that limited drinking during pregnancy does not cause any adverse side-effects to the baby. It makes women wonder, is it safe to drink 1 beer while pregnant? Those in the habit of drinking think that harmful effects like miscarriage or low birth weight of their baby will not take place if they drink sparingly or weekly.

However, recent researches have concluded that even minimal amounts of alcohol can have an adverse cognitive and psychological impact on the developing baby. Even if the baby does not seem to suffer from any abnormality on the outset, they may still be prone to various mental health conditions later on in their lives.

Thus, the answer to the question of when to stop drinking pregnancy is immediate. As soon as you get to know that you have conceived, it’s time to put an end to your drinking habit and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

Many women are in the habit of binge drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it is defined as drinking more than four drinks simultaneously. They need to know that it will significantly make their child prone to developing a myriad of severe health complications. These complications stretch from cognitive impairment to behavioral deficiencies. Hence, you need to enroll in a program to get free from alcohol addiction.

At the end, it’s up to you to understand the ill-effects of drinking alcohol, on your as well as your baby’s health. If you’re using alcohol to cope up with emotional issues, then instead of doing this, you should reach out to a mental health counselor. Being an adult, you can somehow save yourself from potential health complications of excessive drinking. But, it is very difficult to restore your child’s optimum once he/she develops a range of mental, physical, and emotional disorders.

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