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Is It Safe to Drink During Pregnancy?

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Updated February 14, 2014

Question: Is It Safe to Drink During Pregnancy?
Answer: No. Drinking during pregnancy can have a number of harmful effects on the newborn, ranging from mental retardation, organ abnormalities, and hyperactivity to learning and behavioral problems. Moreover, many of these disorders last into adulthood.

While we don't yet know exactly how much alcohol is required to cause these problems, we do know that they are 100-percent preventable if a woman does not drink at all during pregnancy. Therefore, for women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, the safest course is to abstain from alcohol. (See Alcohol Alert No. 13: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and also Drinking and Your Pregnancy.)

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