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What problems are caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy?

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When you drink, the alcohol passes through the umbilical cord and placenta to your baby. It can cause serious problems, including:

  • Miscarriage. You can lose your baby during the early few months of pregnancy.
  • Stillbirth. You can lose your baby in the womb during the second half of your pregnancy.
  • Preterm labor. Drinking can make your baby arrive too early. Premature babies can have many health problems.
  • Birth defects. Some babies are born with heart or kidney problems. Others may have trouble seeing or hearing or other health issues.
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). This can affect the way your baby looks, thinks, and learns. The mental and developmental disabilities usually last a lifetime.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Alcohol use in pregnancy,” “Alcohol and pregnancy questions and answers.”

March of Dimes: “Alcohol during pregnancy.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Tobacco, alcohol, drugs and pregnancy.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Health Issues of Premature Babies.”

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on December 20, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: “Alcohol use in pregnancy,” “Alcohol and pregnancy questions and answers.”

March of Dimes: “Alcohol during pregnancy.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Tobacco, alcohol, drugs and pregnancy.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Health Issues of Premature Babies.”

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on December 20, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What are characteristics of babies and children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs)?

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