CDC Announces Risk for Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies Higher than Expected
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is backing a new stance in hopes of preventing fetal alcohol syndrome. The statement is part of the CDC’s monthly Vital Signs report. It says over 3 million women of childbearing age in the United State could expose their babies to alcohol during pregnancy. The statement argues this is caused by women’s normal drinking habits, paired with being sexually active and not using birth control methods to prevent pregnancy. The report suggests women should refrain from drinking as soon as they discontinue using birth control measures.
The CDC outlines roughly 75% of women who are actively trying to become pregnant continue their normal drinking habits, despite no longer using birth control methods. Most women do not know they are pregnant until 4-6 weeks into their pregnancy.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can result in fetal-alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), which can impact a baby’s physical, intellectual and behavior development. The CDC explains how alcohol consumption even in the first few weeks of pregnancy can have lasting effects on a child.
This article contains the stance of the CDC. If you are planning to become pregnant or have concerns about your health, please contact your UnityPoint Health provider.