Women who consume alcohol during pregnancy expose themselves and their developing children to a range of seriously damaging health outcomes. Among these outcomes is a heightened chance of experiencing a miscarriage. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, researchers from four U.S. institutions examined the alcohol-related factors that make it more likely that a pregnant woman will experience a miscarriage. These factors include both the amount and type of alcohol consumed during pregnancy. Continue reading
When it comes to alcohol, drinking and addiction, the differences between men and women are stark. Women metabolize alcohol differently, become alcoholics at a different pace than men and are more susceptible to the dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness. Women are even triggered to drink by different things than men. Women need to be aware of these differences, as much of the research conducted on addiction has focused on men. Understanding how alcoholism develops in women is crucial to making the right choices about drinking.
Women who use cocaine during pregnancy inevitably expose their developing fetuses to the drug, and once cocaine enters a fetus or newborn baby, it remains for longer amounts of time than it would in an adult. As a consequence of these facts, cocaine-using mothers and their developing fetuses and newborn babies have significantly increased risks for a variety of serious problems both during and after pregnancy. Among these potential problems are miscarriages, separation of the life-supporting placenta from the wall of the uterus, premature births, birth defects, and abnormally low birth weight.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the collective term for a range of conditions that can appear in children and adults whose mothers consumed alcohol while pregnant. Although these conditions are treatable, their basic effects last for a lifetime. In a study review published in 2014 in The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, a team of Canadian researchers assessed the effectiveness of alcohol warning labels in reducing the number of people ultimately impacted by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The researchers concluded that such labels have only a modest direct influence on women’s likelihood of drinking during pregnancy. Continue reading