The way women absorb and process alcohol is not the same as men. Women who drink alcohol can have more negative health effects than men, even if they drink less or for a shorter time.
When pregnant women drink alcohol, this increases the risk of having a baby with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD can lead to physical, mental, behavioral and/or learning disabilities.
FASD is a term that covers many conditions, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS is the most severe type of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and is a life-long condition.
Babies with FAS:
- Can have abnormal facial features
- Often grow more slowly than other babies
- Can have central nervous system problems
- Can have mental disabilities
The U.S. Surgeon General says that women should not drink any alcohol during pregnancy. Even though most women know this, many women don’t stop drinking until they have a positive pregnancy test, which can be four to eight weeks after conception.
Find out more
Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (pdf)
Read more about the physical effects of FAS (pdf)
Effects of alcohol on a fetus (pdf)
Effects of alcohol on women (pdf)
5 smart steps to safer drinking (pdf)
The dangers of binge drinking (pdf)
What's in a standard drink? (pdf)
Blood alcohol tables for women