Drinking for Tow
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Drinking For Two
Women drinking alcohol while they are pregnant should be illegal. Over 6 million women in America drink on a daily basis while they are pregnant, and every year more than 90,000 babies are born with some sort of alcohol-related defect (March of Dimes 2000). In some states a woman is charged with child abuse if her baby has significant abnormalities, but not everywhere. Fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal alcohol effects, and neurodevelopmental disorder are just a few of the problems a child might have if a woman drinks while she is pregnant.
Pregnant women who drink often miscarry or have low-birth weight infants, and are at a much greater risk of having a child who has fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can include heart defects, poor coordination, hyperactive behavior; learning and developmental disabilities, and mental retardation. These problems are long term and also come with physical deformities like a narrow head, smaller eyes, and stunted growth. These effects are more common to women who are either heavy drinkers or binge drinkers.
Women who are pregnant, but drink moderate amounts of alcohol still pose many dangerous threats to their unborn child. A fetal alcohol effect is one of them, with slight deformities, mental retardation, and learning disabilities. Fetal alcohol effected children not only have physical differences from normal children, but also suffer with psychiatric problems and at more apt to get in trouble with the law. Pregnant women who drink not only run the risk of having a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome, but of having a child with alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder. Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder occurs when children have prenatal exposure to alcohol. These babies have cognitive and behavioral problems that are alcohol-related, without the severe facial or growth deformities babies with fetal alcohol syndrome have. Pregnant women who drink expose their baby to teratogen ethanol- the active ingredient in alcohol. The fetus exposure is longer and more intense compared to the mother who is able to metabolize the teratogen ethanol.
Of course women who are pregnant have a right to drink alcohol, but the outcomes are permanent and irreversible; they last forever. Alcohol is legal for people who are 21 years of age, but when a woman is with child it should not be allowed; simply for the sake of her child.