Pregnant Woman with Wine

Can a few glasses of wine or an occasional margarita during your pregnancy really effect your developing baby?  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says absolutely!

The AAP’s Committee on Substance Abuse recently issued a clinical report stating that “prenatal exposure to alcohol can damage the developing fetus and is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities.”

What about just one glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve, or a nice cold glass of beer at a summer BBQ?  In this article on WebMD, Dr. Jacques Moritz, director of gynecology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, says not to do it:  “The problem with drinking alcohol during your pregnancy is that there is no amount that has been proven to be safe.”

The March of Dimes concurs, stating that alcohol can cause defects to a baby’s heart and brain, and can prevent babies from developing properly as infants and toddlers, causing issues ranging from learning and behavior problems to speech and language delays.

If you had a few drinks before you knew you were pregnant, the experts say to stop immediately.  Your baby has a good chance of being born good and healthy if you go through the rest of your pregnancy taking good care of yourself and avoiding alcohol.  However, continuing to drink during your pregnancy increases the risk to your baby’s health and development.

Non-alcoholic options include sparkling water with lemon or lime, iced tea, frozen drinks minus the alcohol, milkshakes, smoothies and just plain water.