FASDs: Information for Women
- Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, or FASDs. People with FASDs can have learning disabilities, hyperactivity, difficulty with attention, speech and language delays, low IQ, and poor reasoning and judgment skills. They can also have problems with their organs, including the heart and kidneys.
- There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. All drinks with alcohol can affect a baby’s growth and development and cause FASDs. A 5-ounce glass of red or white wine has the same amount of alcohol as a 12-ounce can of beer or a 1.5-ounce shot of straight liquor.
- There is no safe time to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol can cause problems for a developing baby throughout pregnancy, including before a woman knows she is pregnant. Most women will not know they are pregnant for up to 4 to 6 weeks.
- Too many women continue to drink during pregnancy. About 1 in 9 pregnant women in the United States reports alcohol use in the past 30 days. And about 1 in 26 pregnant women in the United States reports binge drinking in the past 30 days (having four or more drinks at one time).
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) are completely preventable. FASDs are completely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy. Why take the risk?
Risky Drinking: More than 7 standard-sized drinks per week or more than 3 per occasion, and drinking when pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
* Note: Depending on factors such as the type of spirits and the recipe, one mixed drink can contain from one to three or more standard drinks.
Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Produced by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
Click on the following links to learn more about risky drinking:
- Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Healthexternal icon
- Surgeon General’s Advisory on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy pdf icon[224 KB, 2 Pages, 508]
- CDC Infographics on Excessive Alcohol Use
If you cannot stop drinking, get help! Contact your doctor, local Alcoholics Anonymous, or local alcohol treatment center.
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