Should my spouse avoid alcohol while she is pregnant?
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, there is no safe time during pregnancy to drink alcohol. There is also no known safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. When your spouse is pregnant and she drinks beer, wine, hard liquor, or other alcoholic beverages, alcohol gets into her blood. The alcohol in her blood gets into your baby’s body through the umbilical cord. Alcohol can slow down the baby’s growth, affect the baby’s brain, and cause birth defects.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a term used to describe a range of effects that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Some people with FASD have abnormal facial features and growth and central nervous system problems. People with FASD may also have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, and/or hearing. These problems often lead to problems in school and social problems. The effects of FASD are known to last a lifetime.
If your spouse is pregnant and has been drinking alcohol, tell her to stop now and talk to your doctor. Avoiding alcohol will help keep your baby healthy. If she needs help to stop drinking, talk with her doctor or nurse.