THE FACTS ON ALCOHOL AND PREGNANCY in a nutshell
- When a woman consumes alcohol during pregnancy, so does the developing baby.
- There is currently no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
- Since 2009 the National Health and Medical Research Council recommended that ‘not drinking during pregnancy is the safest option’[i] while pregnant.
- Oftentimes people think alcohol isn’t that harmful, but it can have more serious impact on a developing baby than illicit substances like heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.
- Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can affect the unborn baby and increase the risk of miscarriage, lower birth weight, stillbirth and premature birth.
- When you are planning a pregnancy, it is also important to be aware that alcohol can reduce fertility in both men and women.
- Prenatal alcohol exposure effects how the brain’s neural connections are formed, and in some cases this results in devastating developmental disabilities.
- Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause FASD. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause irreversible damage to the fetus, resulting in conditions referred to as FASD. FASD is a non-diagnostic umbrella term for the range of disabilities that result from prenatal alcohol exposure.
- It is important to remember that there it is never too late to stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy
National Health and Medical Research Council. (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.