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Newborn and Infant Care

P.G. and Alcohol

09/04/1997

Question:

Is alcohol harmful during pregnancy?

Answer:

Yes, drinking alcohol during pregnancy is harmful to your baby. To date research has found no safe level of alcohol intake during pregnancy. Current recommendations from the Harvard Guide to Women`s Health (1996) recommend total abstinence of alcohol during pregnancy, and ideally during the period prior to conception. During development of your baby the growing organs are extremely sensitive to alcohol. Some possible effects of alcohol intake during pregnancy on your baby include the following irreversible changes:

Changes in their facial features Mental retardation Coordination problems

Other problems your baby may encounter include:

Hyperactivity Seizures Difficulty breastfeeding Vomiting Difficulty adjusting to solid foods Speech and Language difficulties

If you have consumed some alcohol during your pregnancy you need to discuss this openly and honestly with your health care provider.

For more information:

Go to the Newborn and Infant Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati