Dr. Natasha Withers: When a pregnant women drinks alcohol, it moves easily from her blood stream through the placenta and into the blood stream of the developing fetus.
The baby's blood alcohol level can rise as high as a mother which can be very dangerous. Alcohol is a toxic substance, while most adults can usually safely metabolize and processes moderate amounts of alcohol, fetuses are more vulnerable. Their livers aren't able to breakdown alcohol, which means their developing brains and other organs are directly exposed to alcohol's toxic effects.
Prolonged alcohol exposure in utero can have tragic effects on pregnancy and fetal development, ranging from fetal alcohol syndrome which is characterized by facial malformation, heart abnormalities, mental retardation and behavioral problems, to increase risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
If you are trying to become pregnant or if you are sexually active and aren't using birth control be cautious about how much alcohol you drink.
There has been no proven safe amount of alcohol for women to consume during pregnancy, including and especially, during the first trimester when functional organs and nervous system development occurs.
Once you think or know you are pregnant, the safest option is to cut out alcohol altogether for the duration of the pregnancy.
I am Dr. Natasha. Live well!