Bayo Ajibola

2 Tips to Help You Quit Alcohol when Pregnant

Pregnancy is a time when the woman is treated with extra respect and sometimes even handled with extra care. A good amount of attention is given to the pregnant woman and for some it becomes a journey full of pampering and extra pleasures.

Some pleasures that a woman would previously comfortably indulge in may however have to be kicked to the curb for a while when pregnancy sets in. Some of the most common things that a woman has to quit include drinking and smoking. Alcohol is quite a dangerous vice for adults let alone for an unborn child. The effects on a baby are quite detrimental since it affects growth and development and may even cause birth defects.

Remember why you are quitting

You will probably be worked up due to pressure from life and work and alcohol is probably the one thing that calms your nerves. This makes it very difficult to quit once you are pregnant but looking past this will help.

Your baby may develop health problems like blood alcohol that is too high considering their body breaks it down slower than you do. Your child may be stillborn or you could miscarry. Babies that grow to maturity can be born with a low weight, have problems with their attention span, develop learning difficulties, language and speech problems and even be hyperactive. Research has shown that pregnant women that continue to have even a single drink a week are much more likely to give birth to children that later showed delinquent and aggressive behavior.

The worst repercussion of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is FAS or fetal alcohol syndrome. It is characterized by abnormal facial features, poor growth (either in utero, after birth or both) and a damaged central nervous system that leads to hearing and vision problems, slower physical development, intellectual disabilities and hearing and vision difficulties. It is a lifelong condition that may see children have smaller brains and heads and other physical defects.

Ask for help

Your partner, close family and friends probably already know that you drink. Under different circumstances they would even be your drinking buddies since it is a regular part of your lifestyle. They should, however, at this point become your support group of sorts.

You need to quit alcohol for the duration of your pregnancy and when you begin breastfeeding but quitting is not easy. You can ask them to keep an eye on you and remind you every time you unknowingly (or knowingly) reach for a glass or bottle of your favorite drink.

If you can get them to quit altogether in solidarity with you then the better for you because you will not have to fight temptation every time you are around them and they are drinking like fish. It may be hard to convince them at first but when they eventually come round it will improve your health and theirs too.

You can also get help from a treatment center that provides such services. Once you explain your case they should be able to help you through the process. Remember that drinks that are labeled as alcohol-free or non-alcoholic are not always so since various tests have proved that some contain trace amounts of alcohol. Be careful around them.

For those that are still trying to conceive it is best to avoid alcohol during the second part of your cycle when you are most likely to ovulate and get pregnant. That is not to say that you should get stressed about quitting but it is for your own good. As soon as you find out that you are pregnant you should stay off alcohol and continue with a healthier lifestyle that will benefit both you and your baby.

Bayo Ajibola

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