Alcohol and Pregnancy: No Amount Is Safe During This Time

First Posted: Oct 19, 2015 11:45 AM EDT

New findings published in the journal Pediatrics show that even a little amount of alcohol during pregnancy could be dangerous for the health of your future baby.

"The real measure [of how safe alcohol is] is how much are you willing to compromise the potential health and well-being of this baby," said Dr Janet Williams, lead author of the survey, via The Guardian, emphasizing that there is no known "safe" level of alcohol consumption.

Up to one in 10 women drink while they're pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was defined as having one drink in 30 days. And one in 33 pregnant women report binge drinking.

Researchers found that a small percent of mothers-to-be admitted that they consume alcohol during pregnancy. Furthermore, they also discovered that binge drinkers were more likely to drink alcohol during their pregnancy when compared to counterparts. What makes alcohol consumption so dangerous is that it can disrupt the development of the fetus.

First and foremost, drinking during pregnancy can increase the risk for a fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), ranging from mild to severe cases, with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) the most severe form of the condition. Children with FAS may deal with vision problems, hearing, memory, attention span and difficulties learning to communicate.

Prenatal alcohol exposure can also result in a number of other health effects that can drastically disrupt the development of the fetus, altering brain function and increasing the risk of problems in school, memory and judgment as well as language skills.

Regardless, some women may rationalize their own alcohol use during pregnant if they're just drinking infrequent, small amounts. Particularly for women who may be dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, it's best to stop drinking as soon as you know. 

"No alcohol use during pregnancy guarantees that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders will not occur," Williams concluded, via Live Science

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