Alcohol During Pregnancy FAQ
What is FASD?
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a term
that describes the full range of harm that is caused by alcohol
use in pregnancy. If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, her baby may
- brain damage
- vision and hearing difficulties
- bones, limbs and fingers that are not properly formed
- heart, kidney, liver and other organ damage
- slow growth.
Brain damage means that a child may have serious
- learning and remembering
- thinking things through
- getting along with others.
Is there a safe time to drink alcohol?
There is no safe time to drink alcohol during
pregnancy. Your baby's brain is developing throughout pregnancy.
The safest choice during pregnancy is no alcohol at all. In fact
it is best to stop drinking before you get pregnant.
Is there a safe
There is no known safe level of alcohol use during
pregnancy. It is best not to drink any alcohol during your pregnancy.
Are some types of
alcohol less harmful than others?
Any type of alcohol can harm your baby (beer,
coolers, wine or liquor). Binge drinking and heavy drinking are
particularly harmful to an unborn baby.
What might happen
if I drink alcohol while pregnant?
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause permanent
birth defects and brain damage to your baby. Many pregnancies are
not planned. Having a small amount of alcohol before you knew you
were pregnant is not likely to harm your baby. You can help your
baby by stopping drinking.
Do children with FASD grow out of their
There are many things teachers and parents can
do to help children with FASD. However, FASD is a life-long problem.
Teens or adults with FASD may have:
- trouble with the law
- drug or alcohol problems
- difficulty living on their own
- trouble keeping a job
What if the father
If the father drinks alcohol, it will not cause
FASD. However, fathers should also try to be as healthy as possible
before and during pregnancy.
How can others help?
Partners, family and friends can help pregnant
women to stop drinking by being supportive and encouraging.
Where can I go
If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, choose
not to drink any alcohol. If you are worried about your baby or
want more information about FASD, call:
- Motherisk 1-877-FAS-INFO (1-877-327-4636)
- Your health care provider
- Your local health unit
- Your local Friendship Centre
- Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
You can also get more information by visiting
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