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If I’m thinking about getting pregnant, when should I give up drinking?

ANSWER

If the thought of getting pregnant has passed through your mind, you should give up happy hour now.

Consider this: Half of all pregnancies are unplanned. So you could be enjoying a night out on the town with a few cocktails and not know you're already pregnant.

If you're drinking, your baby is, too. The alcohol that's making you feel relaxed could interfere with your baby's brain and nervous system growth. Alcohol affects your baby at every stage of pregnancy, especially in the early weeks.

SOURCES:

Siobhan Dolan, MD, medical advisor, March of Dimes; professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; attending physician, division of reproductive genetics, Montefiore Medical Center. 

UpToDate: "Optimizing natural fertility in couples planning pregnancy," "Patient information: How to plan and prepare for a healthy pregnancy (The Basics)."

FDA: "What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food?"

March of Dimes: "Getting Healthy Before Pregnancy."

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "Weight and Fertility."

CDC: "Alcohol Use in Pregnancy," "Medications and Pregnancy."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 26, 2019

SOURCES:

Siobhan Dolan, MD, medical advisor, March of Dimes; professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; attending physician, division of reproductive genetics, Montefiore Medical Center. 

UpToDate: "Optimizing natural fertility in couples planning pregnancy," "Patient information: How to plan and prepare for a healthy pregnancy (The Basics)."

FDA: "What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food?"

March of Dimes: "Getting Healthy Before Pregnancy."

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "Weight and Fertility."

CDC: "Alcohol Use in Pregnancy," "Medications and Pregnancy."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 26, 2019

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How can smoking affect the odds of getting pregnant?

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