New Study Shows Drinking Before Conception Can Cause Pregnancy Problems

Women who are thinking about bringing a little bundle of joy into this world might want to think twice before picking up a glass of wine to drink at night. That’s because there’s new research that suggests drinking before conception might cause pregnancy problems down the road. As a matter of fact, many health officials are urging expectant mothers or women who are looking to start a family to put down their drinks altogether.

According to The Conversation, drinking alcohol can negatively impact a baby’s development. As a matter of fact, consuming alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risks of a miscarriage, stillbirth and even placental complications. Now there’s research that says drinking before you even get pregnant might lead to devastating consequences, too.

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A 2016 study found that about 30 percent of pregnant Australian women drank alcohol during the first trimester of their pregnancy, both knowingly and unknowingly. The same study found that about 18 percent of pregnant women in Australia also admitted to binging on alcohol, too. While a lot of women stop drinking the moment they find out that they are pregnant, it might be a little too late. That’s because many women are simply unaware of the harm that drinking alcohol can cause around the time of conception, too.

A new study conducted by the University of Queensland found that rats that were given alcohol during the early stages of their pregnancy ended up having fetuses that grew poorly. The rats were given alcohol both before and after conception and during the first week of pregnancy when a baby’s organs are forming. The researchers found that alcohol can stunt the growth of the early embryo and the stem cells that become the placenta. After the pregnant rats were given alcohol, the placenta was poorly formed. It also wasn’t capable of giving the fetus all of the nutrients it needed to grow. It’s also noted that the effect was more severe in female fetuses than in male fetuses.

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The study also found that babies who are born small are at a greater risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure later on in their lives. For women who are thinking of getting pregnant or who are already pregnant, it’s best to skip the alcohol drinks just to be on the safe side of things.

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