Sunday, May 26, 2024

CDC Urges Women: NOT To Drink If You’re Not On Birth Control

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C.D.C (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recently defended a recommendation that sexually active women should avoid drinking alcohol if they are not using birth control methods. As expected, it created a huge chaos, since several women found this to be extremely insulting.

Anne Schuchat, who is currently the principal deputy director of the C.D.C, later said in an interview that they should have framed the statement in a better way to avoid confusion.

A report released by the C.D.C shows that women who drink alcohol while not using any birth control has an increased probability of giving birth to a child who will suffer from foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Approximately, there are 3.3 million women aged between 15 and 44 who fall in this category. According to this report, if a woman thinks she might get pregnant in future, then she should stop alcohol consumption, since most pregnancies in the USA are not planned and on an average, women only get to know they are pregnant after about 5 weeks.


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The main problem with this recommendation was the women were asked to stop drinking even before they were pregnant if they were not on birth control. Dr. Schuchat said that they didn’t want to control the lifestyle of women or tell them how they should lead their lives, but since so many pregnancies in USA are unplanned, they thought that it would be best if women were prepared and not risk the baby’s health if they became pregnant.

Dr. Schuchat said that their only intention is to provide everyone the best information so that women can take their own decisions correctly. Alcohol during pregnancy is fatal to the baby, so people need to be warned about its ill effects. Now whether people will listen to these warnings is obviously their decision.


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The recommendation mostly received negative responses. The Washington Post said that this was extremely condescending, while a website named Jezebel which focuses on women’s issues said that this was a completely unnecessary warning.

Rebecca Ruiz , writer of popular website Mashable, said that women should think about their babies’ health first and then theirs, when they are pregnant. Every decision needs to be made carefully, since it is going to have a significant effect on the baby’s future.


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Studies have been done earlier as well which show that alcohol drinking during pregnancy can lead to several disorders for the kid including various disabilities, and short height. American Academy of Pediatrics released a report in October which claimed that women should not drink even a single glass of alcohol when they are pregnant.


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The report also claimed that more than 90 percent women no longer drink after they know they are pregnant; however, there are still 10 percent women who continue drinking alcohol despite not being on birth control pills. As a result, they probably get to know they are pregnant at the end of the first trimester and might stop drinking, but the alcohol has already affected the baby by then.


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Dr. Schuchat commented that she definitely wants women to be independent and make their own choices. She added that people mistook their concern and that they took this decision after thinking about the safety of both the women as well as the babies.



News Source : nytimes

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