Exposure to Alcohol During Pregnancy, comment


This is an important reminder to all providers to screen all pregnant women for ETOH and drug use. We must not assume that all of our pregnant patients are adhering to a healthy lifestyle suitable for pregnancy. Furthermore, we must not pass judgement on these women. We need to provide education and resources. We need to ensure that our patients feel safe disclosing ANYTHING to us. It is our professional responsibility.

Original Post
August 19, 2009
Title: Exposure to Alcohol During Pregnancy
Excessive consumption of alcohol, we know, can harm or negatively effect our bodies cardiovascular system, mental status, respiratory system, liver, stomach, kidney function, pancreas and sexual function. So it’s not surprising that alcohol should harm a fetus if exposed during pregnancy. It is one thing to abuse a substance like alcohol and live with the consequences, and then it’s another thing to drink during pregnancy and harm another human being. New mothers and the general public are more educated today on the effects of alcohol on a fetus, but fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, stillbirths, and spontaneous abortion as a result of alcohol consumption during pregnancy still occur. Although it may not affect the fetus if a few drinks were consumed during the first few months of pregnancy, it is recommended and advised to avoid alcohol all together during the whole pregnancy; but alcohol is just like any drug, and people are addicted to it because of it’s "rewarding effects" on the brain- in these cases, the pregnant women are risking their own lives and their own child’s life for a good night or their own pleasure. It’s selfish and it is murder if the child should not survive. On the other spectrum there are women who have a few drinks during pregnancy when the woman doesn’t know about the pregnancy. In most cases, the pregnant woman can get everything checked and no major abnormalities should result if she should stop drinking after knowing about the pregnancy. Should the mother be held responsible for giving birth to a child with FAS? Can it be proven that the alcohol she consumed was the cause of the abnormality? If so, and the mother was convicted of a crime, what would happen to the child?

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