Pregnancy is both a beautiful and challenging time for both parents. In a culture where people drink alcohol to take the edge off, it can be hard to accept that alcohol is harmful during pregnancy.
Fortunately, there are other techniques to help you unwind that can benefit you and your unborn child. Depending on your drinking habits, it can be easier or harder to let go of this habit for nine months or more. However, with the right resources and support, you can make it through your pregnancy in good health and good spirits so that you are ready for parenthood.
How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect Pregnancy?
Drinking alcohol while pregnant can adversely affect your and your baby’s health. Alcohol enters the bloodstream rapidly, making it very easy to enter your child’s bloodstream while they’re in utero. There is no safe amount of alcohol that is recommended for pregnant mothers.
Some of the most common side effects of prolonged alcohol consumption during pregnancy include the following:
- Increased risk of pregnancy and labor complications
- Risk of the child developing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs)
- Premature labor
Alcohol consumption can cause significant harm to you and your baby. Alcohol can make it easier for you to experience complications during and after pregnancy that make it harder for you and your growing child to be healthy.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Aside from the complications that can affect you and your child when consuming alcohol during pregnancy, it is also possible for your baby to develop life-long challenges. For your child, there are a series of potential effects that alcohol can have on their development after birth, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. These disorders include:
- Stunted growth in the head and body
- Learning disabilities
- Difficulty with memory, concentration, hyperactivity, and coordination
- Speech and language delays
- Experiencing problems with kidneys, heart or bones, vision or hearing
Many of the potential risks affect a child’s physical development, particularly in their brain and bones. To avoid these potential complications for you and your child, avoiding alcohol altogether is the best way to prevent most of these complications.
Pregnancy is a uniquely delicate feat. Avoiding any additional stress and imbalance in your mind and body makes it easier to experience a healthy and happy pregnancy. Despite its reputation, alcohol does put stress on the body, especially when your body is focused on nurturing you and your child.
What Are Healthier Alternatives to Alcohol While Pregnant?
There are many reasons why someone may drink alcohol while they’re pregnant. Fortunately, it is possible to have fun, manage stress, and ultimately, get through your pregnancy while sober.
It can be helpful to consider the factors that may be contributing to your habits if it is a concern. Some potential reasons for drinking alcohol while pregnant include:
- Stress management
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Pressure from others
- Dealing with an alcohol use disorder (AUD)
Sometimes a person may simply drink alcohol because they are not aware that they’re pregnant. However, the sooner you can stop consuming alcohol, the better.
If drinking alcohol is done to keep up socially or manage stress, then there may be AUD present. Getting a proper and thorough diagnosis is simple with the right team and resources.
Fortunately, there is support to help you stop alcohol use. There are also many techniques to help you maintain a social life, manage stress, and live your best life as you nurture the growing life inside of you.
How Can I Get Help?
There are many ways to avoid alcohol or overcome the challenges of letting it go while pregnant. West Coast Recovery Centers offers direct access to a support system of highly skilled professionals who are committed to guiding you in your healing process.
Depending on your needs, you can seek several avenues to healing your relationship with alcohol:
- Detox treatment
- Individual and group therapy
- Join inspiring, sober communities
- Take up a new hobby
- Learn something new
- Set boundaries
You must assert your choice to avoid alcohol while pregnant. Being around others who respect the health of you and your baby is an important part of staying sober while pregnant. For extra support with cutting back on drinking, there are different therapies and treatments available to help you reframe your mindset around alcohol.
Finding healthier ways to spend your time can help you take your mind away from alcohol and the environments that may encourage it. By remaining proactive and disciplined, you can guarantee that you have the healthiest pregnancy for you and your child.
Connecting with supportive groups of people can fulfill your need for social connections. Learning something new can also provide a sense of fulfillment and inspiration that promote a sense of inner peace and wellness.
You can have a happy and healthy pregnancy without alcohol. If you or a loved one are having complications, there are resources available to nurture you through your recovery. West Coast Recovery Centers offers inpatient and outpatient treatment options for you or your loved one to get the help you need.
As the mother or person carrying the child in your womb, there is a great level of responsibility that comes with nourishing your growing child. Parenthood comes with plenty of challenges and opportunities for growth that start as soon as you discover that you are carrying a new life. It can be hard to give up habits that may affect your child’s well-being. Understanding the effects of alcohol on a developing fetus can make it easier to understand the importance of avoiding alcohol while pregnant. West Coast Recovery Centers is here at (760) 492-6509 to help you navigate the thoughts and feelings that may arise when you stop drinking alcohol.