• Question: how does alcohol affect the infant if the mother consumes alcohol?

    Asked by 325hthj1724 to Derrick on 4 Jul 2017.
    • Photo: Derrick Ssewanyana

      Derrick Ssewanyana answered on 4 Jul 2017:

      Hello 325htj1724,
      A mother who consumes alcohol during pregnancy risks damaging their foetus or unborn baby. The risk posed may result into mental and physical problems that are collectively known as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. This is due to the fact that alcohol in the mothers’ blood passes to the baby through the placenta and yet the baby can not process or digest alcohol as well as the mother does. This consequently leads to the damage of cells in the brain, spinal cord or disruption of the development of the foetus in the womb. This may also result to loss of the pregnancy or the baby may be left with life long problems such as the following
      #Deformed facial features of the baby such as small eye openings, thin upper lip, flat nose and smaller head than average.
      #The baby may be born with a low birth weight (which means the baby will be born less than 2 and a half kilograms) and this in longer term results in slower growth and risk of ill health
      #Problems with the liver, kidney, heart and some other body organs
      #Longer term cognitive and social skills for example learning problems, poor memory, speech problems, poor social skills.
      #Hearing and visual problems.
      Overall, consuming alcohol during pregnancy is problematic and more research is ongoing in quantifying and identifying more implications to the health of the mother and baby or foetus