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How 1 in 10 women put their newborns life at risk
A new study suggests that one in 10 women drink during their pregnancy, with one in 33 women binge-drinking while carrying a baby. - photo by Herb Scribner
New research has found that many women across the United States are drinking, sometimes in binges, even while pregnant.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 pregnant women admitted to drinking alcohol within a 30-day period of their pregnancy, while one in 33 said they participated in binge drinking which is often defined as having five or more drinks in a day during that same period.

Specifically, 10 percent of pregnant women would admit that they drank alcohol within the past 30 days. It was roughly 3.1 percent for binge drinkers, the CDC reported.

And although pregnant women participated in binge drinking less than non-pregnant women overall, pregnant women reported having more binge drinking episodes (4.6) than non-pregnant women (3.6) in a 30-day period, the CDC said.

The study said pregnant women who binge-drink during pregnancy may have alcohol addiction issues.

This finding is troubling for researchers, since alcohol has been known to create negative health effects on pregnant women and their soon-to-be children.

Any alcohol use during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of birth defects and developmental disabilities, the studys lead researcher, Cheryl Tan, told Reuters.

Some of those birth defects and disabilities include fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), which include physical, behavioral, or learning impairments, according to the CDC.

Medical professionals have long suggested that pregnant women avoid alcohol mostly because it can hurt a childs brain development, according to WebMD.

We know that alcohol impacts brain cells and that the babys brain is constantly developing throughout the entire pregnancy, Carol Archie, M.D., told WebMD. So I would say to a pregnant mother that its probably best to abstain from all alcohol.

Alcohol has been known to kill a baby's brain cells, disrupt nerve cell development and can interrupt blood flow, which may keep babies from getting essential nutrients while they're in the womb, according to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for Excellence (FASDCE).

In some cases, babies of pregnant women who drink are born with smaller brains, the FSDCE reported. This can lead to such issues as mental retardation, attention deficit disorders and problems handling impulses, according to the FSDCE.

"When a pregnant woman uses alcohol, her baby does, too," the FSDCE said. "Thats why abstaining from drinking throughout pregnancy and during breastfeeding is the best gift a mother can give her child its a gift that lasts a lifetime."

Still, some medical experts say the occasional light drink isnt harmful during a pregnancy. In fact, there have been cases where pregnant women drink and their baby turns out fine after birth, WebMD reported.

But the problem with that is that there is no amount that has been proven to be safe," Jacques Mortiz, director of gynecology at St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, told WebMD.

Most medical professionals agree that more research needs to be done to determine the effects alcohol can have on a baby.

In the meantime, medical professionals suggest that an alcohol-free pregnancy is the best practice, Reuters reported.

"It's really important to remember that there is no safe amount, no safe time and no safe type of alcohol to drink during pregnancy, Tan told Reuters.

For more on things to avoid during pregnancy:

Really simple things to avoid when you're pregnant

Good news for pregnant women who like tuna

Overweight men are more likely to have sons, but at a cost
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