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MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
PREGNANCY & ALCOHOL


For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.





  • Pregnancy, Alcohol & FAS / FAE Description
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Frequent Signs & Symptoms
  • Causes of Alcohol-Fetal Health Problems
  • Alcohol-Related Risk Factors
  • Preventive Measures
  • Expected Outcome
  • Potential Complications
  • Conventional Medical Management
  • Medication
  • Activity Recommendations & Restrictions
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Notify Your Midwife or Health Care Provider




  • pregnancy & alcohol


    PREGNANCY, ALCOHOL & FAS / FAE DESCRIPTION

    Alcoholic beverages are not healthy for the fetus or the mother-to-be. In adults, the liver breaks down the alcohol. Alcohol can cross the placenta and your baby's liver is not yet able to break down the alcohol. Thus, in the case of heavy drinking, alcohol can cause fetal alcohol syndrome [FAS], a combination of irreversible birth abnormalities. Fetal alcohol syndrome has been reported in babies of women who drank 2 mixed drinks or 2 to 3 bottles of beer or glasses of wine a day. Lesser degrees of alcohol can result in less severe birth defects (fetal alcohol effect [FAE]). No safe level of alcohol consumption has been determined.

    alcohol crosses the placenta to the fetus


    The incidence (number of new cases each year) of FAS and FAE are significantly under-reported. Therefore, projections are usually based on estimates of their occurrence per 1,000 live births. Recent studies by researchers Ernest Abel and Robert Sokol suggest that the incidence of FAS can conservatively be estimated at 0.33 cases per 1,000 live births.





    FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME (FAS) FREQUENT SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

    Alcohol may affect the baby in many ways. the more you drink, the greater the risk. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a pattern of mental and physical defects which develops in some unborn babies when the mother drinks too much alcohol during pregnancy. A baby born with FAS may be seriously handicapped and require a lifetime of special care. Some babies with alcohol-related birth defects, including smaller body size, lower birth weight, and other impairments, do not have all of the classic FAS symptoms. These symptoms are sometimes referred to as Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). Researchers do not all agree on the precise distinctions between FAS and FAE cases.

    FAS Facial Features


    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - infants are shorter and lighter in weight; smaller heads; abnormal features of the face, head, joints and limbs; heart defects and poor control of movement. As they get older, mental retardation is common, as is hyperactivity, extreme nervousness, memory, learning speech, behavior, and poor attention span. The effects are not reversible and may show up later in life.

    Possible FAS Symptoms:
    • Growth Deficiencies: Small body size and weight, slower than normal development and failure to catch up.

    • Skeletal Deformities: Deformed ribs and sternum; curved spine; hip dislocations; bent, fused, webbed, or missing fingers or toes; limited movement of joints; small head.

    • Facial Abnormalities: Small eye openings; skin webbing between eyes and base of nose; drooping eyelids; nearsightedness; failure of eyes to move in same direction; short upturned nose; sunken nasal bridge; flat or absent groove between nose and upper lip; thin upper lip; opening in roof of mouth; small jaw; low-set or poorly formed ears.

    • Organ Deformities: Heart defects; heart murmurs; genital malformations; kidney and urinary defects.

    • FAS Brain Development & Brain Damage


    • Central Nervous System (CNS) Handicaps: Small brain; faulty arrangement of brain cells and connective tissue; mental retardation - usually mild to moderate but occasionally severe; learning disabilities; short attention span; irritability in infancy; hyperactivity in childhood; poor body, hand, and finger coordination.





    CAUSES OF ALCOHOL-FETAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

  • Chronic (and probably binge-type) alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the primary cause of alcohol-related fetal developmental health problems. Alcohol intake can effect the unborn child during the first trimester by interfering with organ development, the second trimester it is associated with mental retardation and the third trimester, retardation of fetal growth.

  • teratogen anomalies chart





    ALCOHOL-RELATED RISK FACTORS

  • The greater the alcohol consumption, the greater the risk for birth defects and their severity. Severity also depends upon the gestational age of the fetus at the time of alcohol consumption. The earlier in pregnancy, the greater the risk for more severe deformities occurring in the fetus.

  • Pregnant women not receiving prenatal health care are at greater risk.





  • PREVENTIVE MEASURES

  • Pregnant women (or those likely to become pregnant) should not drink any alcoholic drinks (or use any drugs of abuse). There is not sufficient evidence that indicates and occasional glass of wine or beer is dangerous, but complete abstinence is best and recommended by most midwives and health care providers.

  • If you are concerned about your alcoholic consumption, seek help from your midwife or health care provider, Alcoholics Anonymous or other support groups.

  • Get early and continuing prenatal care.





  • EXPECTED OUTCOME

  • If maternal alcohol consumption continues, the outcome is unpredictable.
  • Discontinuance of maternal alcohol consumption assures the best pregnancy outcome.





  • POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome and alcohol-related health issues for both mother and baby are major concerns. For the child, the alcohol-related birth defects are generally irreversible. The complications may be mild to severe, depending on damage done.





  • CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL MANAGEMENT

  • If you drink a few alcoholic beverages (not heavy consumption) before you learned you were pregnant (usually within the first few weeks), it is unlikely that they will affect the unborn child, but do discuss it with your midwife. You may want to get an ultrasound to check our fetal development.

  • Abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages as soon as you know you are pregnant. The sooner you stop drinking, the less risk there is to the baby.

  • If you continue to drink alcohol while pregnant, advise your midwife and discuss the problem.

  • Try to determine how you use alcohol in your life and find substitutes. If the alcohol helps you relax, substitute warm baths, exercise, reading or massage; if the drinking is part of daily ritual such as wine with dinner, drink a non-alcoholic wine-type drink (unless this triggers a desire for alcohol). If you go out to socialize, you may consider drinking a beer such as O'Douls 'non-alcoholic' beer (with 0.4 percent alcohol as compared with regular beer having 4.2 to 10.0 percent alcohol, keeping in mind there is still a very small amount of alcohol in O'Douls, but you would have to drink at least 10 of them to have the same alcohol you would consume with just one regular beer with 4 percent alcohol). If you are an alcoholic, avoid any drink or product that contains alcohol. Fruit juice is always a good choice or a 'virgin' drink without the liquor. Try to keep the sodas down to a minimum (high sodium content).

  • The stresses or difficult situations that caused you to find comfort and solutions in alcohol drinking will need to be faced or avoided.

  • Join a support group in your community. Additional information is available from:
    • Alcoholics Anonymous
      475 Riverside Dr. 11th Floor
      NY, NY 10115
      (212) 870-3400

  • If you know a family member or friend who is pregnant and continues to drink alcohol, talk to her about your concern and the risk she is taking with her unborn child.

  • If you are a parent of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, get the appropriate help needed for the child's development. Get help for yourself if the alcohol problem is continuing or if you need other psychological or emotional support.


  • National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
    CDC: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Information
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Information: Teratogens





    MEDICATION

  • Medicine is usually not necessary for this problem.





  • ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATION & RESTRICTIONS

  • Usually no restrictions except those that may be concerned with the pregnancy.





  • DIET & NUTRITION

  • Eat a well balanced diet. Your midwife may give you some Nutritional Guidelines to follow. Alcohol use and abuse can cause many nutrient deficiencies that will need to be corrected through dietary management.


  • MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Alcoholism & Women
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Alcoholism Description & Treatment





    NOTIFY YOUR MIDWIFE OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

  • If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant and are continuing to drink alcoholic beverages.
  • If you want to stop the alcohol drinking and need help in coping.


  • MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips
    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Pregnancy Information Index
    MoonDragon's Pediatric Information Index
    MoonDragon's Parenting Information Index
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index






    MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index





    AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


    Allspice Leaf Oil
    Angelica Oil
    Anise Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Basil Oil
    Bay Laurel Oil
    Bay Oil
    Benzoin Oil
    Bergamot Oil
    Black Pepper Oil
    Chamomile (German) Oil
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    Calamus Oil
    Camphor (White) Oil
    Caraway Oil
    Cardamom Oil
    Carrot Seed Oil
    Catnip Oil
    Cedarwood Oil
    Chamomile Oil
    Cinnamon Oil
    Citronella Oil
    Clary-Sage Oil
    Clove Oil
    Coriander Oil
    Cypress Oil
    Dill Oil
    Eucalyptus Oil
    Fennel Oil
    Fir Needle Oil
    Frankincense Oil
    Geranium Oil
    German Chamomile Oil
    Ginger Oil
    Grapefruit Oil
    Helichrysum Oil
    Hyssop Oil
    Iris-Root Oil
    Jasmine Oil
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    Labdanum Oil
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    Lemon-Balm Oil
    Lemongrass Oil
    Lemon Oil
    Lime Oil
    Longleaf-Pine Oil
    Mandarin Oil
    Marjoram Oil
    Mimosa Oil
    Myrrh Oil
    Myrtle Oil
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    Niaouli Oil
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    Orange Oil
    Oregano Oil
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    Peru-Balsam Oil
    Petitgrain Oil
    Pine-Long Leaf Oil
    Pine-Needle Oil
    Pine-Swiss Oil
    Rosemary Oil
    Rose Oil
    Rosewood Oil
    Sage Oil
    Sandalwood Oil
    Savory Oil
    Spearmint Oil
    Spikenard Oil
    Swiss-Pine Oil
    Tangerine Oil
    Tea-Tree Oil
    Thyme Oil
    Vanilla Oil
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    Violet Oil
    White-Camphor Oil
    Yarrow Oil
    Ylang-Ylang Oil
    Aromatherapy
    Healing Baths For Colds
    Aromatherapy
    Herbal Cleansers
    Using Essential Oils


    AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


    Almond, Sweet Oil
    Apricot Kernel Oil
    Argan Oil
    Arnica Oil
    Avocado Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Black Cumin Oil
    Black Currant Oil
    Black Seed Oil
    Borage Seed Oil
    Calendula Oil
    Camelina Oil
    Castor Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Comfrey Oil
    Evening Primrose Oil
    Flaxseed Oil
    Grapeseed Oil
    Hazelnut Oil
    Hemp Seed Oil
    Jojoba Oil
    Kukui Nut Oil
    Macadamia Nut Oil
    Meadowfoam Seed Oil
    Mullein Oil
    Neem Oil
    Olive Oil
    Palm Oil
    Plantain Oil
    Plum Kernel Oil
    Poke Root Oil
    Pomegranate Seed Oil
    Pumpkin Seed Oil
    Rosehip Seed Oil
    Safflower Oil
    Sea Buckthorn Oil
    Sesame Seed Oil
    Shea Nut Oil
    Soybean Oil
    St. Johns Wort Oil
    Sunflower Oil
    Tamanu Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Wheat Germ Oil





    HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS

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  • NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES

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  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
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  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
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  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy
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