Many ‘different’ Hawaiian children have caught my attention lately. I see them hanging around when their parents are selling vegetables at the Farmer’s Market. They made me remember that I have seen children with this very same look in Ecuador, Spain, France, and plenty in America. There are so many of them in my awareness that I started wondering, what’s going on? I see they are retarded, but there is a similarity to them that made me look deeper. It suddenly hit me: they are children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS),
Although they are adorable when little, and couldn’t be more affectionate, they usually are born prematurely, small, look different facially, often having small heads, facial malformations, as well as internal problems with heart, spine, Central Nervous System, and way too many other problems. They develop more slowly, grow up to have IQ’s around 60 + -, and grow to an age when they stop developing. These children are difficult to raise, are not able to motivate themselves, care for themselves without supervision, or have the ability to function in the world. And just as worrisome, one generation begets another with the same problem.
I thought this was related to a “Native American problem,” but find that nothing could be farther from the truth. It is worldwide. It’s caused by alcohol. And its 100% avoidable.
All women need to understand that when they drink, the alcohol goes right into the placenta and the baby is actually drinking too. “By the time mom feels tipsy and thus socially or physically compelled to refuse a refill, the child she carries could have already passed out. … The baby in the womb becomes more drunk than its mother with every drink of liquor, wine or beer she takes.” (1)
Alcohol goes right through the placental and brain barrier, making the fetus even more drunk than mom. It goes into the liver, pancreas, kidneys, thymus, heart, and brain, concentrating in the gray matter of the developing baby. It interferes with the placenta carrying enough oxygen, and this is what creates brain damage, especially during the first and third trimester.
Brain damage is also from alcohol being a dehydrating agent so it absorbs water. The brains of a newborn whose mother drank appears desiccated, (dried up,) and smaller than they should be because the water has been sucked out of the developing cells, either killing them or rendering them functionless. Ouch.
Another reason is the difference in weight of mom and fetus: the growing fetus is tiny in comparison, yet, gets the same dose that mom gets.
The alcohol in mom’s bloodstream envelopes baby and circulates around and around until it can be detoxed, but it takes twice as long in a fetus as it does in mom.
“Women become drunk more quickly than men because their stomachs are less able to neutralize alcohol…” (5);
Looking at the FAS child’s brain compared to a normal child’s brain, there is scrambling of the layers of brain cells that are typically associated with alcohol use.
There seems there is NO safe amount of alcohol that is safe for a fetus. There are different things that make a mom be more at risk, but basically for a sacred birth, it comes down to a decision in pregnancy to NOT DRINK, and STOP all alcohol. Not a glass of wine, not a cold beer, nothing.
Most of the women I have met are not concerned because they think it’s just an alcoholic mom, or the binging mom that has a baby with FAS. But it’s not just about the size of the dose, it’s also about the dose, the age of the mother, and the timing of the dose on fetal development too. What developmental stage is the baby? The first trimester and the third trimester are highly susceptible.
Most parents reading Sacred Birthing are taking great care of their unborn baby. But at prenatals I have heard, “Well I just had a few drinks. Just this time. That’s OK, right?” Ask your baby. “Baby, is it ok that I do what I want, even if I know it might hurt you?” Absolute abstention from conception, pregnancy and while breastfeeding is the only way to protect your baby. She/he’s worth it!
With so many questions about alcohol’s effect, I think the best course of action would be at the moment when you are planning to conceive, or, know you are pregnant, make a decision one time and then both parents stick to it for the duration. Then your baby feels your commitment to his health and well-being.
Why both parents?
“Until now Fathers have not had a causal link to such disabilities. Ground breaking new research has been revealed which shows Dads may have more accountability.
Published in Animal Cells and Systems, researchers studied male mice exposed to varying concentrations of alcohol and one control group exposed only to saline. After exposure the mice were mated and resulting fetuses examined. The findings revealed previously unknown and riveting evidence that paternal alcohol consumption can directly affect fetal development.
A number of fetuses sired by males exposed to alcohol suffered abnormal organ development and/or brain development. Those in the saline group were normal. So, can developmental abnormalities be predetermined at fertilization? This research proves so. The authors believe alcohol consumption affects genes in sperm which are responsible for normal fetal development.
Until now fathers’ lifestyle choices have not seen any repercussion on their unborn children. This ground-breaking research provides the first definitive evidence that fathers’ drinking habits pre-conception can cause significant fetal abnormalities.”(4)
Plus, when a father drinks, its placing mom in a more difficult predicament of constantly having to make the choice each evening NOT to drink. Sometimes we are strong and sometimes less so. Making this decision once is the easiest and it lets baby feel your devotion. Dad, can you support your future child by choosing Not to drink, and choosing other activities that do not include alcohol? Your baby thanks you.
Four hours ago, an article from Northwestern University in Chicago came out saying, “There may soon be a cure for foetal alcohol syndrome.”(6) But really, when alcohol creates such havoc in the nervous system and brain, why take chances? Always come back to your deepest intention: “What is the highest you wish for your child? A nominal existence, or to be a child/adult who retains his innate well-being?
Another SoftBirth reason to abstain from both alcohol and weed is that they lower your vibration. When you are heading toward a Sacred Birth, it is your highest vibration that helps your baby mesh his body and soul. Since you are the Cosmos to your baby, give him your best, and your reward will be seen in the alert, clear eyes of your baby at the time of birth.
1. American Journal of Obstetric Gynecology. “By the time mom feels tipsy…”
2. Doris, Michael. The Broken Cord. July, 1989
3. Enloe, Dr Cortez. Editor of Nutrition Today, 1980. “For the fetus, the hangover…”
4. Hye Jeong Lee, Jae-Sung Ryu, Na Young Choi, Yo Seph Park, Yong Il Kim, Dong Wook Han, Kisung Ko, Chan Young Shin, Han Sung Hwang, Kyung-Sun Kang, Kinarm Ko. Trans-generational effects of paternal alcohol exposure in mouse offspring. Animal Cells and Systems, 2013; 17 (6): 429 DOI: 10.1080/19768354.2013.865675
5. Charles Lieber, Dr. New York Times, 2013.
6. Redei, Eva. Health 24.com. “There may soon be a cure for foetal alcohol syndrome”.