Drinking rates among pregnant women still too high

Most people know that drinking alcohol during pregnancy poses a health risk to the unborn child. But one in 10 pregnant women in the United States still consumes alcohol, and slightly more than 3 percent of pregnant women admitted that they binge drink, consuming four or more alcoholic drinks at a time, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery and stillbirth. Babies also may be affected by a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which can cause developmental, behavioral and learning disabilities.

The study results were published in the Sept. 25 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

According to the researchers, mixed messages about drinking during pregnancy may lead some women to think it’s OK to drink in the third trimester, or that drinking wine is healthy, or that small amounts are acceptable. None of those are true, they say.

Talk to your health care provider about healthy lifestyle choices during pregnancy.

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