When a pregnant woman drinks an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol travels through her blood and into the baby's blood, tissues, and organs. So when a pregnant mum has a glass of wine, her baby has a glass of wine, too.
Drinking alcohol can harm the baby's development. Alcohol breaks down much more slowly in the baby's body than in an adult’s. Consequently, the baby's blood alcohol level remains increased longer than the mother's. This is very dangerous, and can sometimes lead to lifelong damage.
Drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy can lead to foetal alcohol syndrome in the baby. Foetal alcohol syndrome refers to a range of birth defects observed in children born to mothers who drink too much alcohol. The symptoms can include:
These medical problems are lifelong and can range from mild to severe.
A no-effect level without harming the unborn child has not been established. This is the reason why alcoholic beverages should be avoided during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant should avoid drinking any amount of alcohol. The only way to prevent foetal alcohol syndrome is to not drink alcohol during pregnancy.