We all know that alcohol is a harmful substance that leads to various health hazards in the longer run and it holds even more true in the case of pregnant women. We generally hear the fact that pregnant women should avoid drinking as it may cause harm to the baby. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued numerous statements about the dangers women and their newborns may face in the future. It can cause certain disabilities in the baby, which are known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).
According to the statements released by CDC, alcohol in the mother's blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause stillbirth, miscarriage and an array of lifelong physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities called FASDs may have some of the characteristics and behaviors that include abnormal facial features, small head size, low body weight, poor memory, vision or hearing problems, learning disabilities and problems with the heart, kidney or bones among others. The analysis also suggests that alcohol consumption while pregnant may lead to a cascade of nervous system changes that impact behavior, via mechanisms that can produce transgenerational effects.
A new study by Kelly Huffman, Psychology Professor at the University of California, Riverside titled 'Prenatal Ethanol Exposure and Neocortical Development - A Transgenerational Model of FASD' that was published in the journal Cerebral Cortex is another source that talks about the harmful effects of drinking. Professor Huffman noted, "Traditionally, prenatal ethanol exposure (PrEE) from maternal consumption of alcohol was thought to solely impact directly exposed offspring, the embryo or fetus in the womb. However, we now have evidence that the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure could persist transgenerationally and negatively impact the next-generations of offspring who were never exposed to alcohol."
According to CDC, there is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant.