Exposure to Alcohol During Pregnancy, comment

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This post is an extremely important topic! I agree that despite all of the education that is out there on "what not to do" during pregnancy, we are still seeing a tremendous number of babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other drug exposures. In my experience many times the women who are exposing their fetus’ to these toxins claim to be unaware of the pregnancy until they are 3, 4 or even 5 months pregnant. This at times I believe can be true as they probably are not very in-tuned with their body. On the other hand, I feel like this excuse is just that… AN EXCUSE for perhaps denial of the pregnancy! We as healthcare providers can not and should not be judgmental but when you witness an innocent baby suffering from withdrawal or abnormalities, it can be very hard. I do believe these mothers should have consequences for their actions as they are indeed harming another human being! Unfortunately charging the mother may cause the baby to be placed with a new family which obviously has many pros and cons. I feel the best interest of the infant should be the priority not the mother. Fetal exposure will always be an issue but let’s NOT give up on the prenatal education… it is so valuable!

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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