Alcohol transfers through the placenta and may cause problems during pregnancy. It causes increased risk of miscarriage, growth retardation and congenital abnormalities. When you consume a lot of alcohol during pregnancy, your baby may develop abnormalities in the face, hands and legs, as well as neurological abnormalities. These disorders are called the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Moreover, a baby suffers from withdrawal symptoms after birth.
Nobody knows if there is a ‘safe’ amount of alcohol you can consume, and there are risks associated with drinking. It is clear, however, that if alcohol is consumed daily, even if it is not much, it is very dangerous. Also read the “alcohol and pregnancy” leaflet or visit www.alcoholenzwangerschap.nl. Below you can read a brief summary of the health council’s advice.
Advice from the Health Council offered to the Minister of Health. “Should pregnant and nursing women abstain completely, or is a single glass of alcohol not harmful?”
Advices differ quite often. Scientific research, however, shows that the only truly safe option is abstaining from consuming alcohol. Moreover, before conception, it is advised that both partners abstain from consuming alcohol, as it is the only option that prevents harm. After conception, if the man consumes alcohol, this no longer harms the child. However, it is different for pregnant and nursing women. Alcohol in the blood reaches the unborn child through the placenta. Alcohol also reaches the baby through breastfeeding. In either case, adverse effects may occur even in moderate consumption. Therefore, women should abstain from consuming alcohol until they stop nursing.