Is It OK to Drink Alcohol While Pregnant? 10 Things You Should Know

On Feb. 1, the CDC released new guidelines urging women of childbearing age to avoid drinking alcohol unless they are using contraception. This new guideline is designed to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), which are caused by a fetus being exposed to alcohol in utero. FASD is a 100 percent preventable condition.

According to the CDC, more than 3.3 million U.S. women are at risk of exposing a developing fetus to alcohol because they drink, are sexually active, and don’t use birth control and are therefore at risk for an unplanned pregnancy. Furthermore, three in four women who would like to get pregnant as soon as possible report drinking.

2016-02-03-1454536627-3784576-FetalAlcohol_Infographic.pngImage: Jocelyn Runice for SELF

“Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,” Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, said in a statement. “About half of all pregnancies in the…

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