Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Dr Manny's Notes

Can alcohol damage your baby's brain?

Small newborn baby.jpg

A new study has shown that light drinking during pregnancy does not cause any adverse behavioral or cognitive outcomes in children

RELATED: Light drinking during pregnancy may not harm children

I’m not going to debate having an occasional glass of wine during pregnancy.  But let’s be perfectly clear: alcohol intoxication and pregnancy don’t mix.  

There is a very well established medical diagnosis labeled fetal alcohol syndrome.  Prior to the early 1970s, fetal alcohol syndrome was not well understood, and many pregnant women did not receive the warning that they should avoid excessive use of alcohol during pregnancy.  Therefore, many babies were born with multiple anomalies.

Subsequent research has clearly shown that alcohol intoxication during different periods of embryonic life leads to cellular damage that harms the unborn child.  The typical side effects of fetal alcohol syndrome include:

- Growth deficiency before and after birth

- Unique facial features, such as small eyes, thin upper lip and a short, upturned nose

- Small head and brain size

- Heart defects

Also, these babies often have severe neurodevelopmental deficiencies, such as delayed development and learning disorders.  This is why I always remind women during pregnancy that an occasional glass of wine may not be a problem, but clearly, regular drinking should not be done – even if you consider yourself to be a moderate user.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor. Click here more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center.
Follow Dr. Manny on Facebook.