Alcohol Use During Pregnancy Essay

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Alcohol use during pregnancy is a major public health concern and the focus of widespread media concentration (2). Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to negative effects on the baby. Consuming alcohol while pregnant can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (F.A.S.D.) and fetal alcohol syndrome (F.A.S.). Researchers Kenneth Lyon Jones and David W. Smith first came across F.A.S. in 1973 (2). This discovery led to widespread public awareness and education, informing women to limit the amount of alcohol they consume while pregnant (2). Within the next twenty-three years, a range of other conditions such as alcohol-related birth disorder and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder were associated with alcohol use during pregnancy …show more content…
Any alcohol consumption in the first trimester can increase the risk of spontaneous abortion (1). Preterm labor and decreased milk production are also results of alcohol use in pregnant women (1). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders reflect around the way in which alcohol affects the central nervous system development (2). Many deformities and abnormalities consist of the facial features such as a flat nasal bridge, smooth or indistinct philtrum, thinned upper-lip, and flattened cheeks (2). Other criteria include low-set or mildly malformed ears, and small eye openings (5). Additional problems include heart murmurs, birthmarks, hernias, and urinary tract abnormalities (5). Consequently, many children with F.A.S.D.s have stunted growth rates as an infant and a child such as below average height and weight (5). These growth deficiencies include retarded growth of the heart, eyes, legs, arms, teeth, ears, palate, and external genitalia (2). As you can see fetal alcohol spectrum disorders specific features are largely related to the head including the most prominent of all, microcephaly (2). Microcephaly is the stunted growth of the head itself that entails a head circumference below the fifth percentile on the growth chart …show more content…
Prior to 2001 twenty percent of all women reported consuming alcohol during their pregnancy (2). From 2002 to 2003 9.3% of pregnant women reported use of some alcohol during pregnancy (2). Four percent of women at this time reported binge drinking; binge drinking is more than three drinks in one sitting (2). In 2005, fifteen percent of women reported use of alcohol and four percent report binge drinking during pregnancy (2). In 2013 32.2% of pregnant women in West Virginia reported alcohol use and 12.2% reported binge drinking (3). As you can see alcohol use during pregnancy is a problem in our

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