Pregnancy is such a special time for parents. As a daddy, I can’t even begin to imagine exactly what my wife was experiencing. I do know that the abundance of amazement, wonder and fragility involved often sent us into a whole other dimension. Being a first time parent, the unknown was something I couldn’t even begin to fathom. Taking it as it came was the only way for me to go through the process.
My wife and I participated in a parent readiness group where we were guided through the process. It was an 8 week group that provided a lot of support. I really looked forward to it as it helped ease said “unknown”.
The second week into the group, someone asked the facilitator, who was a certified midwife and had assisted the birth of hundreds of babies, if it was OK to have a drink during pregnancy. The facilitator said that there are doctors who feel that having a glass of wine (1) here and there would be safe. I was shocked as my stomach dropped.
At the time, I was already in long term recovery and working with others who sought recovery. My hand raised itself as I shared with the group that the only guarantee that alcohol would not affect the fetus was for the mother to not have any. The group had a previous discussion regarding the baby taking on the taste pallet of the foods that mommy was having. It just seemed obvious that alcohol could just as easily affect the baby.
In fact, even a small amount of alcohol can negatively impact a developing fetus.
You can get information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) here at the Center for Disease Control. Enid Watson, MDiv is the State champion for FASD awareness. Along with the Institute for Health and Recovery, she created MassFas to bring the prevalence of the disorder to light in order to improve healthcare services, increase opportunities and support those with FASD in the State of Massachusetts and beyond.
Although there is no cure, FASD can be prevented. You don’t have to necessarily have a problem with alcohol in order for alcohol to be a problem for you and in this case, your baby.
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