Any Alcohol Exposure in Pregnancy Is Risky for Baby
Written by Editor   
Friday, November 27, 2015 08:48 AM

Because children exposed to any amount of alcohol during pregnancy are at risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reaffirmed its recommendation that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.  the CDC found that 7.6% of women who report continued alcohol use during pregnancy, and more alarmingly, 1.4% report binge drinking. Exposure to alcohol during the first trimester of pregnancy can impact the brain, as well as the musculoskeletal, ocular, and auditory systems.

In their latest clinical report the AAP reiterated that any exposure to alcohol during pregnancy increases a child's risk of FASD, ranging from alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) to more severe alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).

ARBD presents with definite "diagnostic facial features." The so-called diagnostic triad includes small eyes, a smooth philtrum, and a thin upper lip, but there are non-apparent diagnostic features as well.

The impact of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) can extend from conception through adolescence. Exposure to alcohol can impact fetal development in the earliest stages of pregnancy. Binge drinking (defined as five or more standard drinks within 2 hours) is particularly dangerous, especially as it can occur before a woman realizes she is pregnant.

While PAE can be unintentional, the CDC found that 7.6% of women who report continued alcohol use during pregnancy, and more alarmingly, 1.4% report binge drinking. Exposure to alcohol during the first trimester of pregnancy can impact the brain, as well as the musculoskeletal, ocular, and auditory systems.

In addition, infants born with PAE have an increased risk of fetal death and sudden infant death syndrome. Children and adolescents with PAE may also be associated with a higher incidence of behavioral and cognitive difficulties, including ADHD, learning disabilities, and executive dysfunction. Children and adolescents with FASD also have a 95% lifetime likelihood to experience mental health issues, such as depression, substance use, addiction, and suicide.

The authors estimate that FASD affects up to 5% of children, with higher rates among vulnerable populations. One study showed that foster and adopted youth had a FASD missed diagnoses rate of 80.1%, with a misdiagnosis rate of 6.4%.

Some of the more recent research has been interpreted to suggest that a low level alcohol use might be safe during pregnancy. The AAP wants to educate the public that it does not endorse this interpretation and that the preponderance of the evidence shows the contrary.


Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/GeneralPediatrics/54168