Reader Poll: Advising Women on Alcohol During Pregnancy

February 16, 2016

Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, MD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that women should stop drinking alcohol if they are trying to get pregnant or could get pregnant, in an effort by the CDC to curb fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).

The CDC urged healthcare practitioners to ask patients about their alcohol use, especially women in their child-bearing years. An estimated 3.3 million US women between the ages of 15-44 years are at risk of exposing their fetuses to alcohol if they become pregnant while drinking and without using birth control.

About 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned in the United States, and alcohol can have negative effects on a fetus, even in the first few weeks.

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