The relentless, accumulating effects of alcohol on an embryo.
A Trimester Timeline. There can be different effects to the fetus depending on when the drinking during pregnancy happens. Some of these effects (but not all of them) are shared below.
Alcohol in the 1st trimester: 12 times more likely to have an FASD if drinking happens during the 1st 13 weeks. Major effects on:
- Spinal cord
Alcohol in the 2nd trimester: 61 times more likely to have an FASD if drinking happens in both the 1st and 2nd trimesters. Major effects on:
- Spinal cord
- Immune system
Alcohol in the 3rd trimester: 65 times more likely to have an FASD if drinking happens all 3 trimesters. Major effects on:
- Spinal cord
Learn how to prevent FASD.
Having a healthy, alcohol-free pregnancy.
One of the most critical times to prevent any issues in your pregnancy is before you even become pregnant. Here are some tips for planning a healthy pregnancy:
- Discuss medications you take, vaccines you may need, and steps you can take to have a healthy pregnancy with your health care provider.
- Do not use alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs.
- Take at least 400 mcg of folic acid each day. Folic acid is a B vitamin that can prevent major birth defects.
- Try to follow a healthy lifestyle, including eating nutritious foods, exercising appropriately, and getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Click here to learn more about enjoying an alcohol-free pregnancy.
Nearly half of all U.S. pregnancies are unintended.
An unintended pregnancy is a pregnancy that is unplanned, or unwanted, at the time of conception. Whether you want to become pregnant within the next year or not, it is important to talk to your health care provider about family planning options.
In the United States, nearly half (45%) of all pregnancies are unintended, and many people do not know they are pregnant until 4-6 weeks after conception. By this time, they could have exposed the developing embryo to alcohol without even knowing they were pregnant. By taking steps to plan your pregnancy, you can reduce the likelihood of unintended pregnancy and unintended prenatal alcohol exposure.
Click here to learn more about the importance of planned pregnancies.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FASD Brochure: Final. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/documents/fasdbrochure_final.pdf
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