"Prevenge," a 2016 movie written, directed and starring Brit cult favorite Alice Lowe, is about a pregnant woman whose fetus instructs her to do terrible things. While that's clearly a fantasy scenario, sometimes the opposite — a pregnant woman directing her unborn's behavior — is not.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 percent of pregnant women say they've had some alcohol, and one out of every 33 admits to binge drinking in the past 30 days. That indulgence can cause terrible things to happen to a fetus — and your future child. What's more, according to a new lab study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, the damage doesn't stop there. It can be passed on through subsequent generations, to grandchildren and great-grandchildren!
Besides triggering these behavioral problems and maybe fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety and impulse control problems, drinking while pregnant can make it more likely that your offspring will have to contend with addiction.
Research scientists at the University at Buffalo Institute on Addictions found that prenatal exposure to alcohol triggers changes in reward systems of the brain, mostly affecting the brain's own cannabis-like chemicals called endocannabinoids. Those changes persist and make an adult's dopamine neurons more sensitive to an abused drug's effect. That increases vulnerability to addiction.
So don't listen to reports that say a sip or two during pregnancy is OK. There's no reason to ever risk your future generations' health and happiness. Want to raise a glass? Stick with some bubbly apple juice!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.