To Drink or Not to Drink














To Drink or Not to Drink















To Drink or Not to Drink

The precise effect of drinking on pregnancy is a question that continues to attract rival scholarly opinions. Many studies have linked alcoholism to the development of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The common symptoms of the syndrome include below average weight and height, the development of a small head, and a smooth ridge between the nose and the upper lip (Vaillancourt & Lafond, 2012). Newborns with FAS may also feature minute and wide-set eyes, abnormal facial features, thin upper lip, poor coordination, hyperactivity, and lack of focus. As such, various studies suggest the total abstaining from alcohol for women during the entire period that their pregnancy lasts.

Separate studies have revealed that pregnant women who experience regular bouts of stress are highly likely to pass certain adverse effects to their fetuses. According to the studies, stress during pregnancy has adverse effects on the overall neurodevelopment of the fetus (Vaillancourt & Lafond, 2012). The studies show that the emotional environment in which the fetus develops has a profound effect on the cognitive development of the baby. Therefore, a child’s psychological development depends on the level of stress that the mother experiences during pregnancy. Irritability, mental maladjustment and the loss of focus are some of the consequences of stress on the fetus and the newborn.

Ultimately, the choice to drink or abstain from alcohol during pregnancy should be settled by weighing the merits against the setbacks. Although drinking is considered important with regard to stress management, the best approach should be to consider the irreversible effects of alcohol on the fetus. Alcohol alone is not sufficient in the management of stress. A pregnant mother can use many other stress management strategies without compromising the health of the baby. In fact, stress management therapists argue that alcohol as a solution lacks long-term advantages and often leads to stronger bouts of stress during the hangover phase (Vaillancourt & Lafond, 2012). Besides, relying on alcohol as a solution can lead to the problem of dependency.




























Vaillancourt, C., & Lafond, J. (2012). Pregnancy Disorders and Perinatal Outcomes. Sharjah: Bentham Science Publishers.