There is no amount of alcohol that is proven to be safe during pregnancy. All types of alcohol are equally harmful for your baby, including wine, beer, wine coolers and mixed drinks. When you drink, the same amount of alcohol that is in your blood is also in your baby’s blood. The alcohol in your blood quickly passes through the placenta and to your baby through the umbilical cord.
Alcohol can seriously harm your baby’s development. It can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) which include a wide range of physical and mental disabilities and lifelong emotional and behavioral problems in a child. It can also cause miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.
If you were drinking alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, the most important thing is that you completely stop drinking after learning of your pregnancy. The sooner you stop drinking, the better off you and your baby will be.
If you have been drinking alcohol during pregnancy, it is never too late to stop. Your baby’s brain is growing throughout pregnancy, so the sooner you stop drinking the safer it will be for your baby. If you are having trouble stopping, help is available. Talk to your doctor or find a professional in your area using the Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility Locator. Or, for more information about how to stop drinking, visit us here.
September 9th is International FASD Awareness Day, and this year, NOFAS (the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) is dedicating the month of September to raising awareness.
Help us get the word out: FASDs are completely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy. Read about Taylor’s personal struggle with FASD here.
Remember, if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, do not drink alcohol. And don’t smoke or take any drugs or medications without talking to your provider first. Be sure to get regular prenatal care and tell your health care provider about any concerns you may have.
Email or text us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org with your questions.