October 27

Cocktails and Mommies

Justice Victoria Frederick

When it comes to parenthood, a mother will do all she can to keep her child safe as much as possible. She will take the vitamins, visit the doctor, and follow as many of the instructions given to her in order to carry the infant into a full term. One of the biggest and most important rules to date would be avoiding alcoholic substances not only throughout the mother’s pregnancy but through the beginning times of breastfeeding after the baby is born. Although, many may not understand how exactly this affects the mother and child, and what problems may arise from pregnancy into the child’s lifestyle.

As far as pregnancy goes, there is no proper amount that would be considered okay for intake, which is why doctors highly recommend mothers stay away for the bottle in the first place. Babies can only be expected to grow and develop as well as what they are receiving for nutrients. Everything that a mother intakes is passed through the umbilical cord onto the baby they are holding. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy has been said to cause any number of disadvantages at the start of a child’s life such as learning disabilities, reduced height or weight, bad vision and hearing, poor coordination, and hyperactive behavior. However, these would only be such conditions should the baby survive the pregnancy. The more severe consequences of drinking while pregnant would be miscarriage, stillbirth, or even death of both infant and parent.

The rules for breastfeeding aren’t as dire. Although the safest method would be not drinking at all, the CDC says that there have been no reports of harm if a breastfeeding mother is drinking a moderate amount of 1 drink per day. Because alcohol levels can be detected at its’ highest within the first hour of having alcohol, the mother should wait at least 2 hours after said drink to start breastfeeding her child again.

Despite the rules and regulations, there are still 1 out of every ten mothers who have reported alcohol use during pregnancy.