Pregnant Women Drinking and Binge Drinking

binge-drinkingIt has long been understood that alcohol can have adverse effects on unborn fetuses, resulting in problems that can last a lifetime. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in babies being born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a disorder which can occur if pregnant women use opioids during their pregnancy term. Any mind altering substance can seriously impact developing babies.

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy put their baby at risk of developing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). In the United States, every alcohol beverage has a warning label which cautions pregnant women about use; despite that, however, many women still drink alcohol throughout their pregnancy.

New research suggests that many women are not only drinking whilst pregnant, they are binge drinking as well, Medical News Today reports. The findings come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the past 30 days, 10% of pregnant women in the US ages 18-44 have consumed alcohol and another 3.1 percent of pregnant women report binge drinking. Binge drinking is commonly defined for women as having 4 drinks in a two hour period. 3.1 percent translates to about 30 percent of pregnant women who consume alcohol binge drinking, according to the article.

“Women who are pregnant or might be pregnant should be aware that there is no known safe level of alcohol that can be consumed at any time during pregnancy. All types of alcohol should be avoided, including red or white wine, beer, and liquor,” said Cheryl Tan, lead author of the study and an epidemiologist in the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Women most likely to drink while pregnant were:

  • Ages 35-44 years (18.6%)
  • College Graduates (13%)
  • Unmarried Women (12.9%)

The findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

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