Alcohol & Pregnancy


The very best beginning. As a mom, I am constantly concerned about my baby's well-being…still. My baby is in her 20s now, but I always worry about her physical and emotional well-being. That will never change, because I'm her mom. If I had known there were things that I could have done prenatally to make my daughter's life better, I would have dove-in head first.

The results are in, and they aren't good. Advice on how much alcohol is safe for a mother to consume while she is pregnant has varied through the years. We now know the extent of the effects of alcohol on babies.

How much alcohol is safe to consume during pregnancy? NONE. No amount of alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy or even while trying to conceive, as it could be four to six weeks before you know for sure if you are pregnant, and by then, your baby's development may have already been affected.

All alcoholic drinks consumed during pregnancy have the potential to cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), miscarriage, and still birth. Babies born with FASD may face a lifetime of physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. Physically, babies born with FASD have smaller heads, distinctive facial features, lower birth weights, and their organs, especially their heart and kidneys, could be affected. As they grow older, behaviorally, children with FASD may suffer from hyperactivity, attention deficit issues, and poor reasoning and judgment skills. Intellectually they are likely to suffer from learning disabilities, speech and language delays, as well as low IQ.

According to the March of Dimes, 1 in 20 children may suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, which are totally preventable.

If you are struggling with alcohol use and you are or plan to become pregnant, talk with your health care provider immediately. As far as it is in your power, give your child the very best beginning.


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