Week 23 - Alcohol during Pregnancy
Hello. This is Dr. Mauldin. You’re now 23 weeks pregnant.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful to you and your growing baby. The degree of harm very largely depends on the amount of alcohol you drink and how often you drink. When you are pregnant, the baby inside of you is exposed to what is in your bloodstream. While a little bit of alcohol may not affect you, it may hurt your baby.
In adults, the liver breaks down alcohol. But your baby’s liver is not yet able to break down the alcohol – so the effects are more harmful.
Drinking alcohol increases the chance of having a miscarriage or having a preterm delivery.
Alcohol may also cause the baby to be too small. It’s a condition called intrauterine growth restriction.
There is an increased risk of birth defects – particularly of the heart and brain. Children that have been exposed to alcohol during their mother’s pregnancy may have problems with memory, learning, speech and behavior. You may not be able to see many of these problems until later in life.
Here are some warning signs that suggest you may have a drinking problem:
• The first one is if you drink alone when you feel angry or sad
• You should also take note if you find yourself drinking in a pattern – every day or every week at the same time
• The 3rd warning sign is if You find that you plan activities around drinking
• Please talk to your health care provider if you drink to relieve pain or stress or if you drink more that you mean to or after you told yourself you wouldn’t
• Some other warning signs may be if you think a lot about drinking or if your personality changes when you drink.
I know it may be hard to stop drinking. If so, do talk to your doctor.
Remember to take good care of yourself and the baby. I’ll talk to you in a week.