Alcohol and Pregnancy: A Bad Combination

by: Mike Miller

This is part of a series of blogs here at, looking at the harmful effects of alcohol. In previous entries, I provided frightening statistics regarding alcohol, disease and mortality. I encourage you to read them and think about the numbers.

Today we will continue to look at alcohol's effect on families. As reported in

Alcoholism is also known as a family disease. Many alcoholics have young, teenage, or grown-up children; they have spouses; they have siblings; they have parents and other relatives. Having an alcoholic in the family, disrupts family life and causes harmful effects on children which can last a lifetime.

It has been estimated that 76 million American adults have been exposed to alcoholism in the family. Alcoholism is responsible for more family problems than any other single cause. One of every four families has problems with alcohol.

Alcohol & Pregnancy

Another sad fact is that maternal alcoholism may affect the fetus before a child is born. For pregnant women, alcohol is delivered to all of the mother’s organs and tissues, including the placenta, where it easily crosses through the membrane which separates the maternal and fetal blood systems.

Did you know that when a pregnant woman drinks an alcoholic beverage, the concentration of alcohol in her unborn baby’s bloodstream is the same level as her own?

A pregnant woman who consumes alcohol during her pregnancy may give birth to a baby with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one of the three top known causes of birth defects. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, about 5000 babies are born each year with severe damage caused by FAS; another 35,000 babies are born with more mild forms of FAS.

Is the taste of alcohol worth endangering the entire life of an unborn child? I hope not. Please take an online alcohol awareness class to learn more about the dangers of alcohol.

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