By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Men...If You’re Trying to Make A Baby, You May Want to Ditch the Booze - At Least For 6 Months
When it comes to conceiving babies and pregnancy, we tend to only think of the woman in regards to alcohol consumption.
Women are usually advised to abstain from drinking or drink very little if they are trying to conceive. And of course, drinking while pregnant is not advised.
But for the man who is also responsible for making the child, we tend to think that he is “off the hook” if he drinks alcohol while trying to conceive. Why? Well he is not the one carrying the child, so why would it matter if he has a few beers, right?
Well, it turns out that it really may matter quite a lot, according to a recent study.
The research says both aspiring parents should avoid drinking alcohol prior to conception in order to help protect the baby from congenital heart defects.
(Reportedly, congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. This defect involves a problem with the structure of the heart that may involve issues with the walls and valves of the heart as well as the arteries and veins near the heart).
According to the report discussing the study, drinking alcohol three months before or during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with a 44 percent increased risk of congenital heart disease due to the father and 16 percent due to the mother, compared to people who did not drink.
“Binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks per sitting, was related to a 52% higher likelihood of these birth defects for men and 16% for women.”
So as you can see, men are definitely not “off the hook” when it comes to alcohol consumption when trying to have a baby.
One of the doctors involved in the study recommends that men not consume alcohol six months before fertilization. So basically if you want to be a father, consider ditching the booze for six months. And this doctor also recommends that women ditch the booze a year before trying to get pregnant!
Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defects. And according to the report, there are about 1.35 million babies affected every year by congenital heart defects.
“These conditions can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease later life, even after surgical treatment, and are the main cause of perinatal death.”
Alcohol has been connected to foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and reportedly around one in four children with FASD have congenital heart disease.
The study was observational, and the researchers cannot definitively say that paternal drinking is more harmful to the baby than maternal drinking. But I think we can certainly conclude from this information that drinking alcohol in excessive amounts within close proximity to conception may not be healthy for our babies.
As I’ve previously discussed many times, potential health consequences of drinking alcohol include promoting inflammation throughout the body and depletion of essential vitamins and minerals, including zinc, vitamin C, magnesium, iron and more. When trying to conceive a child, you want to be proactive by making sure that both you and your partner are nutritionally balanced and healthy as possible. Being balanced and healthy will increase the chances that you will have a healthy child.
Aspiring fathers, read here for more information on how to pass good health to your future children. You want to make sure that your sperm is as healthy as possible. And for all of the aspiring mothers, read here on how to boost your fertility and have a healthy pregnancy.
Finally, it is extremely important to emphasize the importance of both parents being nutritionally balanced before conceiving. So many of us suffer from nutritional imbalances and deficiencies, which may increase our risk of disease and prevent us from having as healthy a pregnancy as possible. If you are trying to have a baby, take a comprehensive nutrient test in order to identify any nutritional issues. If your test results show you have too much or too little of a certain nutrient, a competent healthcare professional can address this by helping you make the necessary dietary changes and incorporate supplementation if necessary.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.