web statsweb stats Fetal alcohol syndrome: Why men should stay away from alcohol when getting women pregnant - FightSaga

Fetal alcohol syndrome: Why men should stay away from alcohol when getting women pregnant

By Lee Cleveland, FightSaga - April 29, 2023

Fathers Drinking Alcohol Before Conception Could Lead To Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Finds Study

Recent research claims that fathers drinking alcohol before conception could be linked to brain and facial issues in their children, directing focus not just to the mothers, but to the fathers as well. Thus, it is essential for both of them to decrease or avoid their alcohol consumption.

In fact, studies have found that men engaging in binge drinking (five or more drinks in one sitting) are a whopping 52% more likely to produce children with birth defects compared to only 16% for women who do the same.

And when discussing craniofacial differences, the effects of the father’s exposure to alcohol were stronger than the mother’s. When either parent consumed alcohol, the offspring showed facial deformities similar to those found in human children. However, these deformities became more severe when it was the father who drank.

“We found that male exposures actually drive certain craniofacial differences much stronger than maternal exposures do, so this programming effect that’s coming through sperm has a profound effect on the organization of the face and the growth and proportion of different facial features,” said Dr. Michael Golding, an associate professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology and lead author of the study, in a statement.

“When it was the dad drinking, we saw a profound shift in the organization of the face.”

This research has also challenged the conventional thinking on how Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) develops, suggesting that expecting parents should stop drinking before trying to conceive as both parties should be extra cautious about alcohol intake in order to minimize the risk.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a disorder caused when a fetus is exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. It can cause low birth weight, physical and neurological difficulties, and hyperactivity. Development issues are also common with FAS.

“When doctors suspect a child has FAS, they sit down with the mother to confirm the diagnosis by discussing her drinking habits during pregnancy,” Golding said. “It’s not uncommon for the mother to deny consuming alcohol while pregnant. When they do, there’s this stigma or this notion that women are lying about their alcohol use.”

So, for those in the medical field, this research indicates that some mothers may positively be truthful when denying alcohol consumption in healthcare settings.

Golding is now hoping that the new research on pre-conception alcohol use and its effects will have an impact on current drinking regulations.

“Change the alcohol warning label to remove the maternal emphasis and put it on both parents to say, ‘The decision to consume this beverage can have significant, life-changing consequences to a future child,’” Golding explains.

“Right now, the warning label only conveys part of the story. We must get that message out into the world as quickly as possible.”

The research was outlined in a letter to the Journal of Clinical Investigation.