Fetal Alcohol Syndrome | Overview


Is it dangerous to drink alcohol during pregnancy?

Yes. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can be dangerous to you and your baby, and it is the leading cause of birth defects. Babies born to mothers who drink during pregnancy may have health problems. Fetal alcohol syndrome is one of these problems.

How common is fetal alcohol syndrome?

In the United States, about 2 babies out of every 1,000 babies have fetal alcohol syndrome. It is the leading cause of mental retardation in the United States.

Remember these things

  • No amount of alcohol is safe in pregnancy.
  • If you usually drink, quit if you are trying to get pregnant or if you think you're pregnant.
  • If you can't quit drinking by yourself, get help quickly.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00