Natalie Battaglia had a few drinks while pregnant and her son had some unusual gestures.
Battaglia doesn’t know if alcohol caused her son’s problems, which doctors initially suspected was cerebral palsy.
There is increasing evidence showing that even light alcohol consumption during pregnancy can affect the fetus.
When Natalie Battaglia finally got pregnant with her first child after more than a year of trying, she “enjoyed it like nothing else.” That meant avoiding anything that could harm the baby, including alcohol, save for the very occasional half a glass of champagne.
With her second child, however, Battaglia was more relaxed, even with the alcohol. That time, “when people said to me, ‘Why don’t you have one?’ or ‘One won’t hurt,’ I listened a little more closely,” said Battaglia, who at the time was running a shelf business with her husband in Melbourne, Australia. on a recent episode of the podcast “Knockoff Drinks with a Difference”.
A few times during that pregnancy, Battaglia drank a glass of wine. At least once, she had two. It was “definitely enough to feel the effects,” she said.
Still, she carried the pregnancy to term and delivered a healthy baby boy in 2017. It wasn’t until about six months after delivery that she noticed some unusual behaviors in her son that doctors suggested might be related to alcohol use. During pregnancy.
Battaglia, who has not drunk since April 2020 and now runs the recipe blog. The Conscious Mocktailshared her story with fellow sober influencer and podcaster Amy Armstrong from dry but wet to raise awareness of the potential dangers of drinking even a little while pregnant.
research this week amplifies their rallying cry, suggesting that less than one drink a week during pregnancy can significantly affect fetal brain development.
“We’ll never know if it was the alcohol that caused my son’s problems, but we’ll never know that it wasn’t,” Battaglia, now 39, told Insider in an email. “From personal experience, I can assure you that a glass or two of wine during pregnancy is not worth it.”
Pediatricians questioned whether Battaglia drank during pregnancy
Battaglia’s son would “scissor” his legs instead of keeping them straight and would raise his arms as if he had just won a race.
“I thought it was adorable and funny and cute,” he said on the podcast. “And so it was, until I realized that there was a problem, that this was not normal.”
Battaglia took him to the pediatrician, who evaluated him and then asked Battaglia a few questions. One of the first was whether he had drunk alcohol during the pregnancy.
“I just froze. I didn’t expect that question and I lied,” Battaglia said. “I was embarrassed and thought, ‘Even if it was the alcohol, there’s nothing I can do about it now anyway, so what’s the point in telling the truth?'”
The doctor then consulted with another pediatrician and both said they thought Battaglia’s son had cerebral palsy, which describes a group of disorders that affect a person’s mobility. “I was devastated,” she said.
Although alcohol use during pregnancy is not a direct cause of cerebral palsy, disorders come from damage to the brain before or shortly after pregnancy. Alcohol use in pregnancy can harm the developing brain, although there is debate about how much of an effect it has.
Drinking during pregnancy can also lead to a low birth weight baby, which is a risk factor for cerebral palsy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders (FASD), or the range of physical and mental disabilities Caused by alcohol use during pregnancy, it can also have features similar to cerebral palsy, such as coordination problems.
A study suggested that about 8% of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder have cerebral palsy.
Since there are No single test for FASD, the most serious of which is fetal alcohol syndrome, can be difficult to diagnose, especially among mothers who do not disclose their alcohol use during pregnancy. So, although it is estimated that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders affect up to 1 in 20 children, andYou rarely hear of people with that diagnosis, Battaglia said.
“That means there are people and children walking around who probably have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, but they’re not diagnosed, they’re not getting the treatment they need,” said Battaglia, who is now an ambassador for the Nonprofit Testing Alliancesaid.
A second doctor asked Battaglia if she drank alcohol during the pregnancy.
Battaglia took his son to another doctor for a second opinion. He also examined his son and then asked if he had been drinking during the pregnancy. Again, she lied. Again, the doctor said that she suspected cerebral palsy, although Battaglia’s son was never formally diagnosed.
Battaglia did not tell anyone about the doctors’ questions. “I just brushed it off: ‘No, it can’t be the alcohol. Stop being hard on yourself,'” he said on the podcast. “I’m one of those catastrophizing people, and I thought I was overreacting. So I just dismissed that thought.”
Battaglia took his son to a physical therapist every two weeks for a year and did religiously prescribed exercises with him every day. He wondered if his son would ever play with his older brother or even walk. “That was a really dark time in my life, and it made me drink more,” he said.
But the therapy worked to help her brain communicate with her limbs correctly. He is now developing normally and is not considered to have cerebral palsy.
There is increasing evidence linking alcohol use during pregnancy with brain changes in the fetus
All major medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Pediatric Association, maintain that there are there is no known safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy
When you drink during pregnancy, the alcohol in your bloodstream passes through the umbilical cord to the fetus, which is not well equipped to metabolize alcohol. That can cause miscarriage, stillbirthbirth defects and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
In a recent studyThe first to use MRIs to measure the effects of alcohol on fetal brain structure and growth in real time, doctors discovered that less than one alcoholic drink a week changed the developing brain in ways that could lead to problems like language deficiencies.
But the rules for prohibiting aalcohol in pregnancy have been criticized by some doctors and parenting experts like paternalisticand something pregnant patients say their healthcare professionals have told them that the occasional drink is fine.
The mixed message is related to the fact that there is not much high-quality evidence on the harms of light drinking during pregnancy.
In addition, there are studies that find no relationship between light or moderate alcohol consumption and developmental problems in children. Expert in parenting and economist emily oster has noted a Danish study that suggests that up to eight drinks a week during pregnancy has no effect on children’s intelligence or attention levels.
But that study and others like it it also has flawsand anecdotes of “success” stories do not guarantee that another person who drinks during pregnancy will have the same result.
past investigations found that of the 10% of pregnant women who drink any amount during pregnancy, one in 13 of their children will have a FASD and one in 67 will have FAS.
“One of our jobs as parents is to mitigate risk,” Battaglia said, “and I feel like I failed my son when I was pregnant by taking that risk.”
Read the original article at Well-informed person
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