When a pregnant woman drink alcohol, it enters she bloodstream that lines the stomach and little intestines.

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Once in the bloodstream, the alcohol travel throughout her body, to her mind where it elicits plenty of effects (including intoxication), to her liver where it is metabolized, and also even come the fetus, wherein it can cause many damaging effects.

Figure 5.4 When a woman drink alcohol, she fetus “drinks” too!

But just how does the alcohol actually get to the fetus? there is a obstacle “organ” that enables the baby to acquire the appropriate nutrients and oxygen when removing unnecessary wastes and also carbon dioxide with the mother’s blood supply. This “organ” is referred to as the placenta. The fetus is attached to the placenta through its umbilical cord (it is reduced at birth to kind your belly button). In the placenta, the maternal blood it is provided is separate from the fetal blood supply (see figure 5.5), however there is an interstitial space through which nutrients, oxygen, and wastes have the right to be transferred.

Because of the physiochemical nature of alcohol (it is polar and tiny in size), the can conveniently diffuse from the maternal blood come the fetal blood v the interstitial an are of the placenta. As soon as alcohol has gotten in the fetus, it travels throughout the fetus’s body whereby it can damage the face, brain, or any type of other body organ that is occurring at the moment of exposure.

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Figure 5.5 In the placenta alcohol adheres to nutrients across the interstitial space from the maternal come the fetal blood supply. The infant gets as much alcohol together the mommy gets.

Alcohol is eliminated from the mother’s body by metabolism. Unfortunately, the fetus can not metabolize alcohol the same means the mommy does. The only way to get rid of the alcohol indigenous the fetus is diffusion v the placenta, earlier to the maternal blood supply. This may result in greater levels of alcohol in the fetus for an extended period of time.

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The exact same concentration that alcohol the is existing in the mother’s bloodstream is additionally present in the fetal blood supply.