Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Expectant mothers who drink alcohol can pose dangers to their unborn baby. Dr. Edward Hill discusses some of the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

An expectant mother who drinks alcohol while she is pregnant may be harming her unborn baby. Alcohol can pass from the mothers blood into the babys blood, causing damage and affecting the growth of the babys cells. Brain and spinal cord cells are those most likely to be damaged.

The term fetal alcohol spectrum disorder describes the range of alcohol effects on an unborn child. The problems range from mild to severe. Alcohol can cause a child to have physical or mental problems that may last all of his or her life.

The effects of alcohol include:

Odd facial features

Growth problems

Learning and behavior problems, and

Birth defects

Although the risk is higher with heavy alcohol use, any amount of alcohol may affect your unborn baby. You can prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorder by not drinking at all while you are pregnant.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.