Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy

Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy

A 23-year-old woman presents to the OB-GYN office you work at. She was recently surprised to learn that she is pregnant. She estimates that she is about 8 weeks along. The woman tells you that she regularly drinks on the weekends with her friends. She asks you “Is that a problem? As long as I don’t drink very much, I can still have a drink occasionally while I’m pregnant, right?” How would you answer her questions? What types of abnormalities can be caused by alcohol, and how does genetics influence this? *Prior to posting, be sure to review Syllabus and Discussion Board Rubric (under Course Resources) for Discussion Board guidelines and expectations.Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy


Impact of Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy

I would approach the 23-year-old woman calmly and without judgment to establish a safe environment where we can interact and answer her questions without her fear of judgment. As highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy or while trying to conceive (Popova et al., 2017).  Similarly, it is unsafe for the mother to consume alcohol during pregnancy. During pregnancy, all types of alcohol, including wine and beers, and equally harmful.

I would answer the woman’s questions by educating her on the negative consequences of alcohol use during pregnancy. There is a potential for damage in the first few weeks of pregnancy when the person does not know she is pregnant. The risk further increases if the woman continues drinking after knowing they are pregnant. Providing information on why alcohol is dangerous during pregnancy would be extremely crucial for this client. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy could result in stillbirth, miscarriage, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities fall under fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). I would enhance patient education by using brochures and charts, demonstrating the impact of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy

Various abnormalities can be caused by alcohol use during pregnancy. The most common is fetal alcohol spectrum disorders while encompassing physical, behavioral, and learning disorders (Dejong et al., 2019).  FASDs are the leading cause of developmental disabilities in children. Other abnormalities are impaired growth and stillbirth. Research suggests that combining genetic effect and alcohol consumption during pregnancy plays a role in the development of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (Eberhart & Parnell, 2016). Abnormal glycosylation caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy leads to FASD development based on the clinical similarities common with congenital glycosylation disorders.


DEJONG, K., OLYAEI, A., & LO, J. (2019). Alcohol Use in Pregnancy. Clinical Obstetrics And Gynecology, 62(1), 142-155.

Eberhart, J., & Parnell, S. (2016). The Genetics of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Alcoholism: Clinical And Experimental Research, 40(6), 1154-1165.

Popova, S., Lange, S., Probst, C., Parunashvili, N., & Rehm, J. (2017). Prevalence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders among the general and Aboriginal populations in Canada and the United States. European Journal Of Medical Genetics, 60(1), 32-48.

Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy