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Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

Avoid drinking alcohol entirely while you are pregnant. There is no known safe amount of alcohol intake during pregnancy.

  • A single episode of heavy drinking or binge drinking (such as at a party) can permanently damage your fetus if the episode occurs at a critical time in the fetus's development.
  • Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, complications during labor and delivery, and low birth weight.
  • Excessive use of alcohol during pregnancy has been linked to a group of serious birth defects known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Infants born with FAS have problems that include heart defects, abnormal development of the arms and legs, skull and facial abnormalities, and lower-than-average intelligence.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised July 23, 2012

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