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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

If You Could Prevent Birth Defects, Would You?

harmful effects of alcohol during pregnancyThis is a question that young women should be asking themselves when they reach for a drink. According to a report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), women who do not use contraceptives run the risk of pregnancy and should not drink alcohol. 

Don’t Wait for a Positive Test 
About half of U.S. pregnancies are unplanned. In addition, many young women who are trying to get pregnant continue to drink once they have stopped contraception. They may be unaware of a pregnancy until 4-6 weeks after conception. “Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,” said Annie Schuchat of the CDC (as reported by CNN). That is why the CDC recommends that physicians advise women to stop drinking when they stop taking birth control.

Harmful Effects of Alcohol on Pregnancy 
Any alcohol, including beer and wine, can put a pregnancy at risk and harm a fetus. Alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is also known to impair development of a fetus at any stage.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
When a woman drinks during pregnancy, the alcohol is absorbed into her womb and affects the fetus. What harm is done depends on the stage of development. The CDC cites these physical conditions that may affect children born with FASD:

• Abnormal facial features
• Small head size
• Low body weight
• Shorter than average height
• Vision & hearing problems
• Poor coordination
• Sleep & sucking problems as a baby
• Problems with heart, kidneys, or bones

Children born with FASD may also be affected by these mental and learning disabilities:

• Hyperactive behavior & problems with attention
• Poor reasoning, judgment skills, & memory
• Speech & language delays
• Learning disabilities, including low IQ & problems with math

Completely Preventable Birth Defects
According to the CDC, “FASDs are completely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.” Considering the possible consequences, would you take the risk?

Learning Responsibility & Sobriety
Hope Academy Rehab understands the unique needs of young adults who are struggling to free themselves of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our recovery program helps you become strong, healthy, and empowered so that you are ready to resume your schooling, your job, and your life. Call 866-930-4673 to speak with an admission counselor and begin your enrollment today.


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