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There are two schools of thought who differ in their opinions when it comes to drinking red wine during pregnancy. One claims that moderate consumption of red wine every week does not cause any harm to the baby. There are many women whose babies are born healthy, in spite of the fact that they drank red wine during their pregnancy. While the other believes that consuming red wine or any kind of alcohol for that matter during pregnancy can cause major damage to the health of the unborn baby. Exposure to alcohol in the prenatal stage can have adverse effects on the physical and mental development of the baby.

Risks

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking any kind of alcohol including red wine should be avoided during pregnancy as it can lead to various birth defects covered under the umbrella term of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). Drinking alcohol during pregnancy results in lasting physical and mental disabilities, and behavioral problems in children. It may cause low birth weight, small size of head and eyes. It may also lead to slow development and retardation. Complications related to hearing and vision, along with heart problems can also occur in such children.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Drinking red wine in large quantities by the mother can put the child at the risk of acquiring Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). It may lead to complications related to the central nervous system, development problems and facial deformities. Apart from physical problems, it may also lead to abnormal behavior and disorders related to attention span, hyperactivity, anxiety and impulse. Other subtypes of FAS which affect the children include Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD), and Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE).

Overview

In USA, pregnant women are advised not to drink wine. On the other hand, countries like France advice women to drink some red wine, as it helps in calming their nerves and inducing relaxation during the stressful months of pregnancy. Many people claim that there are several benefits of drinking red wine during pregnancy. They believe that it aids in stopping preterm contractions, increasing the survival rate of preterm babies, decreasing behavioral problems in children, and their development. Though there are several pros and cons for drinking red wine during pregnancy, both the sides agree that drinking it in copious amounts can be harmful for the unborn child.

Although it is said that you can consume red wine in small quantities at the time of pregnancy, one should give a practical thought to the serious risks that alcohol poses to the health of the baby. Remember, the damage rendered by FASDs or FAS to a child's health is permanent and cannot be undone. Hence, it is advisable to avoid these complications by abstaining from red wine consumption during the period of pregnancy. It is best to consult your doctor before consuming red wine or any other alcoholic beverage during your pregnancy because nothing matters more than the health of your child.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.