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Newborn and Infant Care

Wine during pregnancy

05/02/2003

Question:

Can occasional alcohol consumption during pregnancy make a baby irritable and/or cry a lot? My friend drank wine on off while she was pregnant (often more than 2 drinks) and although her child is `fine`, she complains that he is fussy. Any thoughts?

Answer:

Any alcohol consumed during pregnancy can affect your baby. Alcohol ingested during pregnancy is absorbed rapidly and crosses the placenta, and circulates in the baby in amounts similar to those in the mother. Alcohol affects the growth of the baby, as well as neurological development. Some factors that determine the effects of the alcohol on the baby include the amount of alcohol ingested, time of gestation, maternal age, and health. Many things can lead to a "fussy" baby, and managing a fussy baby can be difficult. It is important to remember that babies are only able to communicate through crying. Rocking and moving the baby may alleviate the crying. Also the baby may be hungry, wet, bored, needing to burp, or perhaps he wants to be held, cuddled, or rocked. Movement often helps a fussy baby. A walk in the stroller, a ride in the care or baby swing might be just what the baby needs. 

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati