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Feotal Alcohol Syndrome

(32 Posts)
bradyfox Wed 12-Mar-14 10:29:21

I know that many women can go the whole 9 months without a sniff of the hard stuff but if not the info is so confusing.

The NHS website states :
Week 8

........
The foetus is still inside its amniotic sac, and the placenta is continuing to develop, forming structures called chorionic villi that help attach the placenta to the wall of the womb. At this stage, the foetus still gets its nourishment from the yolk sac.

Yet the FAS

Timing is another medical factor in the development of foetal alcohol syndrome. A baby’s facial features are formed during weeks six to nine of pregnancy. Professor Neil McIntosh, an Edinburgh-based neonatologist, says scientific evidence shows that mothers who drink during this three-week window are more likely to have babies with the facial deformities associated with FAS.

Now i get that to avoid FAS you just dont drink but if you wish to make an informed choice of whether it is ok to have a small glass of wine with a meal once a week it would be useful to have factual advice from websites that should be able to give it.

Alcohol passed through the placenta to the baby so if the baby is not yet getting nourishment from the placenta how can it be affected?

TeamEdward Wed 12-Mar-14 10:37:00

The recommendation is to drink no alcohol. However, FAS is caused by heavy drinking, not a small glass of wine with a meal once a week,

Floggingmolly Wed 12-Mar-14 10:37:27

How hard is it to just not have the small glass of wine once a week?
I'd imagine it takes a hell of a lot more than that, anyway.

bradyfox Wed 12-Mar-14 10:44:29

TeamEdward - that is what i thought which is why i find it so very confusing that the powers that be say only 2 units a week??

flogging molly - it is the confusing/contradictory information i have an issue with - i get you can just not drink altogether

moggle Wed 12-Mar-14 11:33:40

The problem is they can't do much research on this can they. A small well designed randomised study could potentially answer this once and for all but it's completely unethical! So you have to rely on 'observational studies' which are fraught with difficulties and it is very hard to get a reliable answer from them.

One difficulty is that people who drink heavily throughout pregnancy are more likely to have other behaviours which are detrimental to pregnancy and the baby, making it harder to pick out what causes what and when.

Another is that we are terrible at remembering things and even if we do, we tend to minimise the 'bad' things and it's pretty much a fact that we underreport our drinking.

Even when a really large observational study is done - it may only be applicable to the country where it was done, due to differences in culture and lifestyle.

Just maybe it would be possible to do a randomised trial of women who either drank none, 1 or 2 small glasses of wine a week throughout pregnancy, or only after the first trimester, etc. I think they could find women willing to do that; but would it pass ethical approval? Just thinking of the recent trial where newborn babies were randomised to be either exposed to peanut protein from the very start or never to have it - seemed crazy at the time, as many people 'just knew' it was early exposure to peanut protein which caused nut allergies - but really the evidence was not that reliable, so they were able to recruit families to the trial.

daphnehoneybutt Wed 12-Mar-14 12:30:09

Have you read that book "Expecting Better" I think its called by Emily Oster? She apparently goes into a lot of details with stats / risks. Supposed to be a v good book....

You have to be mainlining jaegerbombs to give your baby FAS I think is the general jist of it. This adds up with people I know (small sample I admit).

I am not drinking as the thought sickens me at the moment.

The advice was at one stage that pregnant women should be drinking half a pint of guinness or a small glass of red wine a DAY to "keep their iron levels up" (according to older family members anyway.) They didn't end up with children with FAS. I think you need to have really quite a lot before it damages the baby.

Not that I'm going to be testing this theory, a sniff of the barmaid's apron is making me queasy at the moment!

ohthegoats Thu 13-Mar-14 14:25:52

I have the Expecting Better book - it's great, filled with her analysis of data/statistics that have sometimes been standard advice, despite being decades out of date. Her bottom line on alcohol (there is a whole chapter on it):

There is no good evidence that light drinking during pregnancy should negatively impact your baby. You should be comfortable with:

Up to one drink a day in the second and third trimesters.
One to two drinks a week in the first trimester.
Speed matters: no vodka shots!
Heavier drinking could have a negative impact, especially in the range of four to five drinks at a time. This should be avoided.

Bear in mind that she's an economist, not a medical professional.

Dixy30 Fri 14-Mar-14 23:57:40

I have relatives that are foster carets and the care system is littered with FAS/ drug problem mothers passing on brain problems with their offspring.

The amount these women drank and did drugs it is wholly predictable their babies were brain damaged.

1/2 glasses per week after first trimester is no comparison.

amy246 Sat 15-Mar-14 07:57:52

I just don't understand why anyone would risk drinking alcohol at all!

Because alcohol in itself it isn't a risk...as previous posters have explained on this thread.
It is quantity consumed that is a risk factor.

Amy do you drink when not pregnant?

HolidayCriminal Sat 15-Mar-14 14:27:28

Because I'm not a walking womb, because if I wanted zero risk I would never get pregnant in the first place. Because the evidence is that small amounts causeno detectable damage. Because pregnancy is hard enough without thinking it means depriving yourself of most the usual pleasures.

pommedeterre Sat 15-Mar-14 18:15:33

It is bigger than the individual though amy

I have the occasional glass of wine when pg and I don't really give a flying fig of other people do or don't to be frank.

What I do care about is women being treated like children who can't deal with proper advice, information and guidelines. That makes me snort smoke. Don't make us into walking wombs that other people control when we are pg!

pommedeterre Sat 15-Mar-14 18:16:08

Of = if

eurochick Sat 15-Mar-14 18:21:10

amy light drinking has not been shown to create any risk at all, so no one who is drinking lightly is risking anything.

Millysdream Sun 16-Mar-14 11:57:51

I haven't had any alcohol since TTC and throughout my pregnancy. It isn't worth the risk. I think is is selfish to drink when pregnant. After 3 miscarriages I can safely say I did nothing to cause any of them as I have done everything right. If you can't give up drinking for 9 months then you are too selfish to have a baby! Controversial I know but just my opinion. I know people who have been TTC for over a year yet they think getting pissed every weekend if fine. For me giving up alcohol is a small sacrifice I have been more that willing to make!

Millys has your dp or dh also given up

Bowlersarm Sun 16-Mar-14 12:30:19

The advice has changed so much since I was pregnant with my now teenagers. My GP's advice was "if you are used to drinking a glass of wine a day, then it's fine to drink a glass of wine a day". Unthinkable now. Even my doctor friends at the time said you'd have to drink considerably more than that to cause any harm to a foetus. (I am not stating this is correct advice, just what was said at the time).

The advice had changed slightly between my first pregnancy and my third pregnancy four years later, but it wasn't as extreme as the advice for pregnant women now.

pommedeterre Sun 16-Mar-14 13:40:33

<too selfish to have a baby> <doesn't give a fuck>

roadwalker Sun 16-Mar-14 13:44:46

Emily Oster's book has been slated
She has misinterpreted statistics

5madthings Sun 16-Mar-14 13:51:06

milly do you still drive? Use perfume, deodorant, creams, make up etc. They can all cross the placenta.

Do you only eat organic food, never eat bagged salad or take away? Tea and coffee and caffeine?

So many things can be a risk, but you need to look at it in proportion and everyone is entitled to make different choices.

Bring overweight increases risk or miscarriage,stillbirth and pregnancy complications, etc etc.

What is a reasonable risk to take?

I looked at the evidence and decided the odd drink for a special celebration would be fine but actually the smell of alcohol made me feel sick.

I did eat raw eggs and stuff like Parma ham etc, I avoided pate with vit a ie liver.

I rode a bike and swam and ran around lots and probably did other stuff people would consider a risk.

Whatever my pregnancy, my body.I have also had miscarriages but the information is that most cannot be prevented. So I am not going to worry about the odd soft cooked egg etc.

And it's vile to make judgements and comments like you have done milly women are nit incubators and are entitled to bodily autonomy.

amy246 Sun 16-Mar-14 14:23:59

No I don't normally drink even when not pregnant. Don't really get why people do

penniespigsandpewter Sun 16-Mar-14 14:37:23

5madthings you also have a duty to keep your unborn baby safe.
I agree, the odd/weekly glass of wine is hardly comparable to binge drinking or alcoholism during pregnancy

penniespigsandpewter Sun 16-Mar-14 14:38:11

*a moral duty, that meant to read

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