The debate about drinking alcohol during pregnancy has been raging since the 20th century. It was common for pregnant women to drink during pregnancy amid the 1950s and 1960s. However, with all of the medical and technological developments since that era, more evidence points to alcohol being detrimental to a developing fetus. The debate rages on whether expectant mothers should completely abstain from alcohol or moderate their drinking behaviors.

The Research

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is incurable mental and physical damage to a child due to alcohol exposure while in the womb, which may lead to impaired cognitive abilities and brain connectivity. FASD is one of the primary causes of intellectual disability worldwide, linked to various neurological issues, such as ADHD. Research finds that children prenatally exposed to alcohol are at risk of developing FASD.

The study utilized 40 teenage subjects, with 19 prenatally exposed to alcohol, and 21 of them not prenatally exposed to alcohol. They found through this comparison study that those prenatally exposed to alcohol experienced deficiencies in connectivity between the right and left halves of the brain. Therefore, the research found disruptions in the brain and deficits in cognitive functions among these subjects, which became evidenced through IQ tests administered to them. Thus, teenagers exposed to alcohol while in the womb showed distorted brain connections, and these subjects were more likely to have issues within the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is a band of brain tissue that connects the right and left halves of the brain, which integrates sensory, motor, and cognitive functioning between the halves. Having deficits in this area of the brain are reported in people suffering from ailments such as autism, depression, multiple sclerosis, sensory abnormalities, and schizophrenia.

Looking for Help?

The research findings support the recommendation that there is no safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. Despite what our great-grandparents, grandparents, or even parents might have believed about alcohol consumption during pregnancy, it is crucial to understand that any substance a mother uses is also impacting their developing child. Addiction to drugs or alcohol does not discriminate, and FASD can only be prevented by completely abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy. Furthermore, FASD sufferers may be more at risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol due to the accompanying developmental, behavioral, and mental problems. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807 or visit us online.


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