CDC drinking during pregnancy could harm the baby

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Tuesday that women who are even considering becoming pregnant should not drink because if they conceive and do not realize it and continue to drink, they could harm the developing fetus.

According to the new reports, if women are drinking at all and don’t realize they’re pregnant, they could gravely harm the fetus.

Drinking while pregnant has been concidered a no-no for some time but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that drinking could affect 3.3 million women, between the ages of 15 and 44, who are sexually active and not using birth control.

“Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,” CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat said in a statement. “About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and even if planned, most women won’t know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking. The risk is real. Why take the chance?”

Apparently there is no amount of alcohol, no matter how teeny, that is definitely safe to drink while pregnant, said the CDC.

CDC drinking pregnancy

CDC drinking pregnancy

Naturally, whatever the expecting mother eats and drinks gets passed along to the fetus, and the liver is not developed until later in the pregnancy.

Alcohol, even in the first few weeks of pregnancy, can lead to permanent physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities.

“Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are completely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy,” said Dr. Lela McKnight-Elly , an epidemiologist and clinical psychologist with the CDC.

A 2014 study added fuel to the debate, finding that expectant mothers who drink moderately have children with better mental health than children of mothers who abstain. But even the author of the paper says her findings don’t mean moms-to-be should start imbibing.

“I really think we should recommend abstaining [from drinking] during pregnancy,” said study co-author Janni Niclasen, a post-doctoral student at the University of Copenhagen. “I really believe that even a glass of wine now and again is really damaging.”