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There is no safe time to drink alcohol while pregnant. The brain and central nervous system of the unborn baby continues to develop throughout the pregnancy and therefore can be damaged by exposure to alcohol at any time during pregnancy. Alcohol can damage a growing baby’s brain, organs and body, affecting how it thinks, acts, looks and learns as a child and as an adult.


When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, it rapidly crosses the placenta to the fetus. Unlike the mother, the fetus cannot process alcohol at the same rate, and it remains in the baby’s body longer than in the mother’s. The result – the baby could be born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD is the term used to describe the birth defects and brain damage that can be caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol.
Children with FASD do not grow out of their problems. In fact many will need a lifetime of extra health care, education and social services. When they get older, children with FASD often have difficulty paying attention and learning at school. They have trouble getting along with others. They may have difficulty remembering and thinking things through. They may struggle with depression or have drug and alcohol problems.

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