Loading…
skip to main content
Drinking During Pregnancy - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

When You Are Pregnant, Drinking Can Hurt Your Baby
When you are pregnant, your baby grows inside you. Everything you eat and drink while you are pregnant affects your baby. If you drink alcohol, it can hurt your baby's growth. Your baby may have physical and behavioral problems that can last for the rest of his or her life. Children born with the most serious problems caused by alcohol have fetal alcohol syndrome.

Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome May:

  • Be born small.
  • Have problems eating and sleeping.
  • Have problems seeing and hearing.
  • Have trouble following directions and learning how to do simple things.
  • Have trouble paying attention and learning in school.
  • Have trouble getting along with others and controlling their behavior.
  • Need medical care all their lives.
  • Need special teachers and schools.

Here Are Some Questions You May Have About Alcohol and Drinking While You Are Pregnant.
1. Can I drink alcohol if I am pregnant?
No. Do not drink alcohol when you are pregnant.

Why?
Because when you drink alcohol, so does your baby. Think about it. Everything you drink, your baby also drinks.

2. Is any kind of alcohol safe to drink during pregnancy?
No. Drinking any kind of alcohol when you are pregnant can hurt your baby. Alcoholic drinks are beer, wine, wine coolers, liquor, or mixed drinks. A glass of wine, a can of beer, and a mixed drink all have about the same amount of alcohol.

3. What if I drank during my last pregnancy and my baby was fine?
Every pregnancy is different. Drinking alcohol may hurt one baby more than another. You could have one child that is born healthy, and another child that is born with problems.

4. Will these problems go away?
No. These problems will last for a child's whole life. People with severe problems may not be able to take care of themselves as adults. They may never be able to work.

5. What if I am pregnant and have been drinking?
If you drank alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, stop drinking now. You will feel better and your baby will have a good chance to be born healthy. If you want to get pregnant, do not drink alcohol. You may not know you are pregnant right away. Alcohol can hurt a baby even when you are only 1 or 2 months pregnant.

6. How can I stop drinking?
There are many ways to help yourself stop drinking. You do not have to drink when other people drink. If someone gives you a drink, it is OK say no. Stay away from people or places that make you drink. Do not keep alcohol at home.

If you cannot stop drinking, GET HELP. You may have a disease called alcoholism. There are programs that can help you stop drinking. They are called alcohol treatment programs. Your doctor or nurse can find a program to help you. Even if you have been through a treatment program before, try it again. There are programs just for women.

For help and information
You can get help from a doctor, nurse, social worker, pastor, or clinics and programs near you.

For confidential information, you can contact:
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)check your local phone book forlistings in your areaInternet address: http://www.aa.org

National Council on Alcoholismand Drug Dependence
20 Exchange Place Suite 2902
New York, NY 10005-3201
(800) 622-2255
Internet address: http://www.ncadd.org

National Institute on Alcohol Abuseand Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 409
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003
(301) 443-3860
Internet address: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov

National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
216 G Street, NE, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20002
(800) 66-NOFAS
Internet address: http://www.nofas.org

Source: National Institutes of Health
Updated: October 2001



Medical/Legal Disclaimer

MON131

Last Updated: Jun 3rd, 2009

Keywords

Nucleus Medical Media Disclaimer of Medical and Legal Liability

Nucleus Medical Media ("Nucleus") does not dispense medical or legal advice, and the text, illustrations, photographs, animations and other information ("Content") available on this web site is for general information purposes only. As with any medical or legal issue, it is up to you to consult a physician or attorney for professional advice. YOU SHOULD NOT DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE BASED ON CONTENT CONTAINED ON THIS WEB SITE, NOR SHOULD YOU RELY ON THE CONTENT ON THIS WEB SITE IN PLACE OF PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE.

NUCLEUS DISCLAIMS ALL RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY FOR ANY COUNSEL, ADVICE, TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY MEDICAL, LEGAL OR OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN BASED ON VIEWING THE CONTENT OF THIS SITE. THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEB SITE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED COMPLETE OR SUITABLE FOR ANY PURPOSE WHATSOEVER.

Mature Content Disclaimer: Certain Content on this web site contains graphic depictions or descriptions of medical information, which may be offensive to some viewers. Nucleus, its licensors, and its suppliers disclaim all responsibility for such materials.

close