Is beer consumption harmful during pregnancy?
Hello doctor, my wife is 5 months pregnant, she is a beer lover like me. I wanted to know if there are any disease which can affect our baby by drinking beer. I have heard about alcohol syndrome but can it caused by beer to and if it is possible to let me know what is the amount of beer she can drink without affecting the baby.
The Beer Doctor says:
This question has been plaguing many women throughout the world. I will try to provide you with reasons and facts proved by medical fraternity and different views from various medical fields.
Alcohol and pregnancy does not go together. Any form of alcohol has been proven to be dangerous for the growing in utero fetus, or in other words for growing baby.
Most people think that only by indulging in heavy drinking or binge drinking can affect the baby in the uterus: well, this has been proved to be wrong. Any amount of alcohol can affect the growing baby.
During pregnancy the baby is connected to mother by a placenta. Any substance that is present in the mother's blood can easily pass the blood-placenta barrier and enter into the growing babies system.
Doctors from both the obstetrics and gynecology department and the pediatric department agree to the fact that alcohol can certainly lead to stunted growth of baby organs and also can cause some permanent and irreversible changes to the vital organs. Many doctors advise women who are pregnant or trying to conceive to stay away from any drink which contains alcohol equal to or more than 1% ABV.
Any form of beer available in the market contains more than 1% ABV, so it is very wise for your wife to stay away from beer or any other alcoholic drinks.
Fetal alcoholic syndrome is the term used to describe various syndromes which affects the brain for the child due to alcohol consumption by the pregnant mother. Some studies revealed that mothers who consumed 1 to 2 ounces of alcohol throughout their pregnancy had an increased risk of 10-50% of giving birth to a child suffering from fetal alcoholic syndrome.
Safe limit of alcohol that can be consumed during pregnancy has not been determined yet. One should remember that from the period of conception to the period for development of brain in the baby is just roughly about one week or two weeks from the day of conception, so any consumption of alcohol can affect the growth of the growing baby brain.
If one has consumed alcohol during and after the period of conception then it can pose slight risk to the growth of the baby. Having said that it is not necessary that the baby will be affected by the fetal alcoholic syndrome, however it is safe to say that such mothers should stay off alcohol during the entire pregnancy period and also during the period of breast feeding the baby.
So my advice to any female who is planning to conceive or is pregnant is plain and simple: stay away from beer, wine, breezers or any other form of alcohol, as it can affect your baby.
It is very important that you understand that any amount of alcohol can easily cross from your blood to your baby's blood and can harm the growth of the baby. For your baby's health it is important that you follow a healthy diet prescribed by your doctor.