Is It OK to Have an Occasional Drink During Pregnancy?

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I’m 3 months pregnant and don’t drink very often but do like to have a social drink every once in a while. Is it OK to occasionally drink alcohol during pregnancy?
- Maya

No. Although it may seem harmless to have a glass of wine at dinner or a mug of beer out with friends, no one has determined what's a "safe amount" of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol is one of the most common known causes of mental and physical birth defects and can produce severe abnormalities in a developing fetus.

Alcohol is easily passed along to the baby, who is less equipped to eliminate it than the mother. If you had a drink or two before you even knew you were pregnant (as many women do), don't worry too much about it. But your best bet is to not drink any more alcohol at all for the rest of your pregnancy.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: October 2012



Related Resources

OrganizationMaternal and Child Health Bureau This U.S. government agency is charged with promoting and improving the health of mothers and children.
OrganizationNational Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) NOFAS is dedicated to eliminating birth defects caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy and improving the quality of life for those individuals and families affected. Call: (800) 66-NOFAS
OrganizationAmerican College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.


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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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