Dad’s Alcohol Use Can Harm Baby, Too
According to research, dad’s alcohol use can harm the baby too. It has been found that dad’s sperm could be responsible for foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which affects one in every 100 infants.
Children with FASD are affected by mental disability, developmental disorders and abnormal facial features.
Traditionally, it was thought that only mothers’ alcohol use affects the fetus. Before pregnancy and to avoid birth defects mothers are advised to stay live alcohol free, before conception and during pregnancy.
The study, published in the American Journal of Stem Cells found both parent’s alcohol use before conception can lead to FASD. According to the study the father’s alcohol use can affect a baby negatively due to epigenetics or the altering of DNA by environmental factors such as alcohol use, which can happen in the womb and be handed down across generations.
The study suggests that a newborn can develop FASD even though the mother may have never consumed alcohol. Father’s alcohol use leading to FASD is supported by evidence that 75% children with FASD have biological fathers who are alcohol dependent, suggesting pre conceptual paternal alcohol consumption negatively impacts their offspring.
We know the nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently alters organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her offspring.
But our study shows the same thing to be true with fathers – his lifestyle, and how old he is, can be reflected in molecules that control gene function.
In this way, a father can affect not only his immediate offspring, but future generations as well,” said Professor Joanna Kitlinska, a researcher of the study and Biochemist from Georgetown University, as per, Metro UK.
Another recent study also found that, fathers’ as well as mothers’ alcohol use can increase risk of the fetus developing congenital heart disease.