Effectsof Alcohol Consumption
ATeratogen is a substance that usually causes malformation of anembryo. The paper will focus on whether alcohol is a teratogen andthe how it affects a pregnant woman.
IsAlcohol a Teratogen?
Alcoholis a Teratogen since it can depress the central nervous system andslow down the brain functions of a fetus.
Alcoholpresents various risks to a developing person or fetus. In the shortrun, it slows down one’s breathing and heart beat which is verylethal to an unborn baby since it deprives vital organs of oxygen. Inadults, it leads to mental confusion and intoxication. Also, adrunken person loses self-constraints and is likely to make poorjudgment risking their lives and that of an unborn baby if they arepregnant. The long term effect of alcohol includes server liverdamage, brain damage, delivery of children with Fetal AlcoholSyndrome (FAS) and cancer of the mouth and throat (Instituteof Medicine (U.S.) et al., 2015).
Stepsto minimize effects of Alcohol use.
Julieshould completely stop drinking. By doing so, further harm will notcome to the developing baby. If her baby is in the early stages ofdevelopment, the fetus may be well and unaffected by her drinking.Various studies advise on different amounts of alcohol that apregnant woman can safely drink depending on her diet, weight, andmetabolism. It is advisable to ignore these studies and completelyavoid alcohol during pregnancy.
Effectsof Jack’s alcohol consumption.
Jackcontinuous consumption of alcohol has influenced Julie to drink morewhich in turn is exposing the developing person, Julie’s unbornbaby to FAS. Had Julie not picked up Jacks drinking habits, the fetuswould not be at risk of contracting FAS.
HowJulie and Jack should prepare for the birth of a child with FAS
Childrensuffering from FAS are born having cognitive impairment and facialanomalies which tend to make a child deformed or disabled (Instituteof Medicine (U.S.) et al., 2015). Theyshould prepare psychologically to raise a disabled child and bestrong enough to guide the child through his/her insecurities thatmay arise as a result of being disabled. They may go for canceling tohelp them prepare psychologically for the baby.
Whenabortion would be advisable
Itis quite difficult to justify abortion. Jack and Julie are adults andshould have behaved in a responsible manner. Julie should have takenbetter care of herself especially since she had seen the effects ofexcessive alcohol consumption on a close family member. Julie shouldinform Jack about her pregnancy, and the two should go to a doctorwho may be able to assess the development of the unborn baby. Julieshould only abort if advised to do so by the physician.
Instituteof Medicine (U.S.)., Battaglia, F. C., Howe, C. J., Stratton, K. R.,& National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (U.S.).(2015). Fetalalcohol syndrome.Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.