Don’t Drink During Pregnancy!
International Awareness Day for Fetal Alcohol Disorder is marked every year on September 9th. Specialists at Schneider Children’s have once again issued warnings that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is dangerous and can cause irreparable damage to the fetal nervous system and other body systems.
Dr. Yehuda Sanetsky, who heads the special clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of children exposed to alcohol during pregnancy, says that pregnant women or those planning pregnancy, should totally refrain from drinking any alcoholic drinks. Various wineries in the country are currently placing warning signs for women who visit their wineries about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to the developing fetus in the womb. The concentration of alcohol that passes through the placenta to the fetus is exactly the same amount accumulated in the mother’s blood. The main danger is “drinking revelry” - when a large amount of alcohol is consumed within a short space of time. Since a safe level of alcohol consumption is unknown, the broad recommendation of all leading global health organizations as well as Schneider Children’s is complete avoidance of all alcohol when planning a pregnancy or during pregnancy.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can, as aforementioned, lead to various fetal developmental disorders. In the western world, exposure to alcohol during pregnancy is felt to be the most common cause for neuro-developmental disorders, which can be entirely avoided. Research undertaken in 2010 by Schneider specialists found that over 15% of women in Israel drink alcohol in varying quantities during pregnancy.
Schneider Children’s operates a special clinic for the diagnosis, treatment and follow up of children exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. The clinic treats a range of disorders on the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum, characterized by developmental problems, attention and concentration deficit, emotional and behavioral disturbances, physical organ damage, and difficult cases of full Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that includes developmental and physical disorders and typical facial distortions.