Fetal exposure to alcohol is the leading known cause of intellectual disability and FASDs. Mary Mather, a retired pediatrician, and Kate Wiles, a doctoral research fellow in obstetric medicine, said that the only ethical advice that can be given is complete abstinence in alcohol intake.
Experts and researchers explained that there is a great chance that infants may suffer a lot of dysfunctions due to alcohol intake. One of the most common disorders is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD). These disorders are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother consumes alcohol during pregnancy.
FASD causes abnormal appearance, short height, low body weight, small head, poor coordination, low intelligence, behaviorial problems, and problems in hearing or seeing. The most severe form of the condition is known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Though it is still impossible to know how fetal damage occurs, it is believed to vary from each individual pregnancy.
However, according to a study in the United Kingdom, recent medical advices toward pregnant women alcohol intake are filled with mixed opinions.
The U.K. Chief Medical Officer's advice conceiving women to avoid the consumption of alcohol or perhaps limit the habit, not more than one or two units once or twice a week.
Not too many women understand the concept of a "unit" in alcohol. According to a recent U.K. study that the proportion of women that takes alcohol during pregnancy is 79%, 63% and 49% in the duration of first, second and third trimester - resulting in a lot of cases of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in infants. Meanwhile, countries including Denmark, Canada, Norway, Ireland, Australia, Scotland and Netherlands advise against alcohol consumption completely for pregnant women.
In the United States, there are pregnant women who are binge drinking. According to the study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a research on pregnant women from 2011 to 2013, binge drinking is the consumption of more than three drinks in one occasion - thus, increasing the rate of FASDs in their infants.
Coleen Boyle, the director of the CDC's National Center on Birth defects and Developmental Disabilities, stated that alcohol used during pregnancy can cause birth deficiencies and disabilities in babies, as well as increased risk of pregnancy problems, including miscarriage, stillbirth and prematurity.
Hence, she clearly stated the fact that it is an important reminder that women should not drink any alcohol while pregnant. The risk is just too big.