Alcohol’s effects on pregnancy are something every mother should be aware of. Alcohol is classified by its chemical components’ location and a number of the hydroxyl group attached to the hydrocarbon component. Alcohols are classified as Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Alcohols.
Our discussion at this time is focused on primary alcohol. (ETHANOL)The secondary and the tertiary alcohols are produced and used for industrial purposes, disinfection, dissolution, sanitation, and removal of chemicals. Primary alcohol, or Ethanol, is the intoxicating ingredient of many alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits.
How fetus feed during pregnancy
In pregnancy, babies get their nutrition from the mother through the umbilical cord lined within the placenta. As a result, the umbilical cord is the lifeline to the baby’s supply of nutrients. In addition, the umbilical cord is equipped to protect the baby by limiting passes from the mother to the baby. This mechanism is called the placenta barrier—the mother’s blood filters the oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients through the placenta.
The baby’s waste products and carbon dioxide are sent back through the umbilical cord to the mother’s circulatory system for elimination. The umbilical cord keeps the mother’s blood separate from the baby’s and protects the baby against infection. Towards the end of pregnancy, the placenta passes on antibodies to protect the baby after birth. This structural protection is guided by several factors, among which are the molecular weight and size of the substance in the circulatory system and its lipid and protein solubility.
Alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs and medicines can cross the placenta barrier and cause damage to the baby.
Effects of alcohol during pregnancy.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy in the first three to five weeks of pregnancy can result in defects of some organs and tissues of the body, such as the ear, the eye, the nose, arms, and legs.
Alcohol consumption during the six to twelve weeks of pregnancy can block the development of the genitals and the left palate. Avoiding alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the best choice a mother can make. Pregnant mothers and those planning to be pregnant are strongly advised to stop drinking alcohol as soon as they find out they are pregnant.
During gestation, the liver is the last organ to develop. Since the baby can not metabolize alcohol well, the development of the liver becomes of the targets of alcohol and could seriously affect the development of the liver.
Miscarriage of pregnancy
Alcohol can cause a miscarriage during pregnancy premature birth, low birth weight, and other effects that may develop and continue after the child is born.
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. (FASD)
This is a genetic disease in infants that affects their learning and behaviour. Babies born with this problem to alcoholic mothers have problems managing emotions and social skills. They experience bone, muscle, and joint malfunctions. Also, babies experience hyperactivity and impulse control, communication disorder, and speech impairment.
Drugs and pregnancy
Drugs that affect babies during pregnancy often cross the placenta barrier to reach the baby. Several factors determine the crossover of medicines through the placenta barrier, including the drug’s liquid solubility and its components. Its lipid solubility, the polarity of the chemical, protein binding capability, and receptor binding capability (BUMPS -Best Use Of Medicine In Pregnancy States). Always check with your Doctor, Pharmacist, or health care professional before taking any medications.
It is confirmed in a Study (Thalidomide Research, McBride (75) & Lenz(7b) that drugs taken by the mother are capable of passing through the placenta barrier to harm the baby in the womb. Generally, it was believed that medicines with low molecular weight, lipid-soluble, non-polarity, and no protein-binding properties would quickly cross the placenta. However, studies prove that alcohol reaches the embryo in high concentration, thus resulting in born damage to the baby.
Antibiotics During Pregnancy
Antibiotics are usually prescribed during pregnancy. Nevertheless, the specific type of antibiotic must be chosen carefully. Some antibiotics are acceptable to be taken during pregnancy. However, always ask your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare provider if you have any questions. Safety depends on various factors, including the type of antibiotic, when in pregnancy you take the antibiotic and how long, how much you take, and the possible effects it might have on the pregnancy.
Risk Effects of Alcohol on Pregnancy
While some antibiotics are considered, some pose risks during pregnancy. For example, tetracycline can affect bone development and discolour developing baby teeth. Therefore, tetracyclines are not recommended after the fifth week of pregnancy.
Sulfonamides may pose a risk of heart condition and jaundice, cleft lip or palate during the first trimester of pregnancy, and near the term of delivery. Therefore, sulfonamides are generally avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy and near delivery time. But, again, if the antibiotic is the best way to treat your condition, trust your doctor to prescribe the safest antibiotics and dosages.
Ethanol and alcohol
Generally, Ethanol is used in cough syrups and tonics. Note that alcohols in these formulations are not active ingredients. The alcohol only acts as a solvent, and the alcohol content can be as high as 10%. For safety purposes, it is advisable to avoid driving machinery or a motor vehicle while on this medication because the alcohol in them can cause mental impairment that may result in an accident and loss of life.
Did You Know?
Data regarding alcohol treatment in pregnant during the time of gestation is often associated with fetal abnormalities. And long-term cognitive problems depending on drinking pattern and time of incubation. Generally, screening and evaluating specific interventions are essential to reduce alcohol consumption during pregnancy and associated problems in infants.
Although, moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy has not been associated with fetal effects. Deleterious effects include fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), spontaneous abortion, antepartum haemorrhage, stillbirth, and preterm delivery. It is highly recommended to seek help. The social and economic cost escalates and could be very high if left untreated. HELP IS ALWAYS ON THE WAY.