The holidays can be a challenging time for those who are pregnant or expecting to be pregnant. The pandemic has made that especially true.
Last year, it might have been the stress of being alone or away from close friends and family during the holidays. This year, it might be because more people are getting together, which means more parties and family gatherings where alcohol is served.
In either situation, it’s important to advise your patients who are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, about the risks of drinking any amount of alcohol.
Nurses and Midwives Partnering to Prevent FASDs has prepared a flyer that you can share with your patients and post in your waiting and exam rooms that includes tips on how to stay alcohol-free during this celebratory time of year.
“We have also seen reports of increased alcohol use during the pandemic, particularly among women,” it notes. “If you are pregnant or might be pregnant, we have an especially important message this holiday season: There is no known safe amount, no safe time, and no safe type of alcohol during pregnancy.”
It cautions that prenatal alcohol is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity and sudden infant death syndrome. The developing baby can be exposed to the same level of alcohol as the mother at any time during the 9 months of pregnancy that can result in lifelong attention, behavior, learning and social skills deficits, collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
The flyer goes on to offer ways to manage stress and take part in celebrations with non-alcoholic drinks and “mocktails” so they can feel festive while still keeping their baby safe.