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Pregnant women put children at risk with alcohol consumption

Armen Hareyan's picture

It is not breaking news that alcohol consumed during pregnancy can cause disorders in the unborn fetus. But, there are still women that don’t know and understand the risk they put their child in when they consume alcohol. According to a recent large-scale study conducted within a population in Norway, they found that alcohol binges by pregnant women can cause oral clefts in their children.

An oral cleft is basically when the lip and palate tissues don’t grow together during pregancy. The result is as seen in the picture above. Generally, this birth defect is treatable.

This study is significant because, until now, there weren’t enough studies and evidence to prove that the chances for oral clefts increases in women that consume alcohol early in pregnancy. They concluded that it was neither the frequency of drinks nor the total amount they consume during pregnancy but the amount of alcohol they consume in one dose. It is the alcohol content in the blood and the amount of time it stays in the blood that affects the fetus the most.

Are there still women that don’t know the consequences of alcohol consumption during pregnancy?

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“Fortunately, heavy maternal drinking is uncommon in many populations, but the fact that it is happening at all tells us we need to do a better job of letting mothers know about the effects that alcohol can have on their baby’s development,” said Allen J. Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D., NIEHS researcher and co-author on the paper.

Sadly, oral cleft is not the worst disorder (caused by alcohol consumption) the child can be born with.

Alcohol is a recognized teratogen, or an environmental agent that can cause malformations of an embryo or fetus. One of the most severe outcomes of heavy maternal drinking is fetal alcohol syndrome, a lifelong condition that causes physical and mental disabilities, including craniofacial malformations. There has been little research to determine if alcohol consumption is related to oral cleft risk.

So ladies… no drinking during pregnancy!

Reported by ResearcHub