“I’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year so I don’t drink any alcohol.”
“I use birth control but I just found out that I’m two months pregnant. I’ve been drinking some and I’m scared to death.”
“Guess how I found out I was pregnant? I wanted to have a couple of drinks on a Friday night and I stopped to get a pregnancy test first just to be safe – and it was positive! I’m so glad that I checked before I drank.”
If you’re pregnant, don’t drink. If you drink, don’t get pregnant.
Most women stop drinking as soon as they learn they are pregnant – but alcohol can affect a baby before a woman knows she’s pregnant.
Why does this matter? The brain develops every single day of pregnancy and alcohol is a substance that has been proven to kill fetal brain cells, halt their development or alter the way these cells will function later on. Alcohol acts as a poison to a developing baby’s body and brain. Brain development before birth provides the foundation for day-to-day brain functioning for a person’s entire life.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, there is NO SAFE AMOUNT of alcohol if a woman is pregnant or could become pregnant. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/documents/SurgeonGenbookmark.pdf
If you are pregnant and are worried about how alcohol may have affected your unborn baby, remember this: It’s never too late to stop. Every single day that your baby can grow and develop in healthy, nutrient-rich and alcohol-free environment will help your baby’s body and brain grow. Don’t be afraid to be honest with your doctor. This will help your doctor provide you and your baby with the best possible care.
- If you COULD get pregnant, choose not to drink any alcohol and explain the reasons behind this decision to others.
- Make sure that everyone in your life (women AND men) know this information: Postcard_WomenOfChildbearing age.pdf
- Whether or not you are pregnant, let your physicians (OB/GYN and otherwise) know that you support them in giving a “No Amount of Alcohol is Safe” message to all women of childbearing age: InfoSheetforMDs.pdf and PublicationForOBDocs.pdf
For more information about women and alcohol, visit this September 2008 report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Alcohol Use Among Pregnant Women and Recent Mothers http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k8/pregnantAlc/pregnantAlc.pdf