Health Topics


Can I drink while I'm pregnant?

Can I drink while I'm pregnant?

If you drink alcohol during pregnancy, your baby may be at risk for lifelong birth defects.  Alcohol-related birth defects are completely preventable.

For the health of your baby, do not drink during pregnancy.


Q: What if I only drink beer or wine coolers?
A: Drinking alcohol of any type can affect your baby's growth and development. This includes all wines, beer and mixed drinks. There is no safe kind of alcohol when you are pregnant.

Q. Is it okay to drink a little or at certain times during pregnancy?
A. No. There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or when you are trying to get pregnant. In addition to the risks listed above, alcohol use during pregnancy can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.

Q. I drank wine during my last pregnancy and my baby was fine. Why shouldn't I drink again during this pregnancy?
A. Every pregnancy is different. Drinking alcohol might affect one baby more than another. You could have one child who is born healthy and another child who is born with problems.

Q. I've tried to stop drinking before, but I just couldn't do it. Where can I get help?
A. If you cannot stop drinking, talk to your healthcare provider, local Alcoholics Anonymous, or local alcohol treatment center. Good Neighbor Community Health Center and Good Neighbor Fremont's Behavioral Health providers offer alcohol and drug evaluations and counseling. You can contact them at (402) 562-8967 (Columbus) or (402) 721-0951 (Fremont).

Q. I drank before I knew I was pregnant. What should I do now?
A. The most important thing is that you completely stop drinking now. Because brain growth takes place throughout pregnancy, the sooner you stop drinking, the safer it will be for your baby and you.

Even moderate drinking (one drink a day) can cause lifelong problems for your baby, including difficulties with:
• Coordination
• Behavior
• Attention
• Learning
• Understanding consequences.

Heavy drinking is having more than three drinks per occasion or more than seven drinks per week. The most severe result of heavy drinking during pregnancy is called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS can cause serious birth defects for your baby, including:
• Problems with brain development
• Lower-than-average height and weight
• Smaller-than-normal head size
• Abnormal facial features