The enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the mother’s body is called alcohol dehydrogenase. Your baby lacks this enzyme in their own body and must rely on the mother’s body (via the blood supply through the placenta) in order to clear alcohol from the baby’s blood stream. This means that while the levels of alcohol in the mother’s body are one thing, the levels in the baby’s body are much higher and it takes longer to clear the baby’s blood stream. Even if it’s just one drink.
This is the cause of the damage that alcohol does to a baby and why the mother may suffer no ill effects. This is one reason why they can not determine the exact number of drinks that will cause problems. Every woman’s body is different and everyone clears alcohol from their system at different rates. But, whatever the rate, it is much slower for your baby which means that their developing body and brain are exposed to much higher levels of alcohol than your own and for a longer time.
When you’re pregnant you are carrying around some very precious cargo…..is the drink that important? Is it worth the risk?