Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Drinking While Pregnant

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Did you or your mother drink during pregnancy? Please discuss any concerns, including the outcome.

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How much alcohol is safe during pregnancy?

Two approaches can be taken to this important question. One is the rigorously scientific approach. It does not go beyond the facts: that most children diagnosed with frank FAS have had overtly alcoholic mothers (who drank at least eight to 10 drinks a day); that children born to women who had four to six drinks a day have had subtle signs of FAS/FAE; that at two drinks a day, the only indisputable effect noted has been subtly lower birth weight; and that below two drinks a day there is no concrete evidence for an effect on the fetus. Thus, from a strictly scientific viewpoint, one cannot say that one drink a day during pregnancy is dangerous to the baby.

The more common approach, and the favored one, is the better-safe-than-sorry approach. This pragmatic position is espoused by public-health experts. Witness the warning label on all alcoholic beverages in the U.S. indicating that "according to the surgeon general, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects." This conservative approach is also followed by most individuals and groups concerned with preventing FAS/FAE. For example, the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome states, "No amount of alcohol has been proven safe to consume during pregnancy. FAS and FAE...are 100% preventable when a pregnant woman abstains from alcohol."

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Comment from: darkanjel, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 22

My mother drank a lot when she was pregnant with me and now I have memory loss that is scaring me. I just found out today on my son's birthday 11-20-2013. I am so glad I didn't drink when I was pregnant with my kids. I think when I found out in 1998 that I had fetal alcohol syndrome, I got really scared and I promised myself that I wouldn't do the same thing that my mom did to me; don't get me wrong but she had 6 other kids to raise and then I came along.

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