If you just found out that you’re pregnant, you may have angst about what you ate, drank, or did in the last few weeks…but you didn’t even know you were pregnant! At Care Net NNY, we want to empower you with the information you need to make the best decisions for you moving forward.


What if I drank alcohol before I knew that I was pregnant?

As soon as you have a positive pregnancy test, stop drinking any alcohol. Babies continue to grow and develop through the entire pregnancy, so it’s never too late to stop drinking. Your next step is to find regular prenatal care to prioritize your health and your baby’s health. 

Is it safe to drink alcohol while pregnant? 

Pregnant women should not consume any amount or type of alcohol. All forms of alcohol are considered a teratogen– an environmental factor that negatively influences the development of an embryo or fetus. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy could increase a baby’s risks of brain damage, birth defects, developmental problems, low birth weight, or premature birth. 

How much drinking causes fetal alcohol syndrome?

Heavy drinking and binge drinking (more than four alcoholic beverages in two hours) increase risks for fetal alcohol syndrome. Additionally, substantial amounts of alcohol over short periods of time could cause a baby to have a neurodevelopmental disorder.  So, stop drinking alcohol as soon as you discover that you are pregnant. Then, speak honestly with your healthcare provider about how much alcohol you’ve consumed. 

What is fetal alcohol syndrome? 

Children who were exposed to alcohol during pregnancy could develop fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD). FASD refers to a variety of developmental problems and could include hyperactive behaviors, poor judgment skills, heart problems, cognitive delays, hearing impairment, and other complications.  

My friend drank during her pregnancy, and her baby was fine. Can’t I drink something? 

Alcohol affects every woman and baby differently. Some mothers metabolize alcohol differently. Plus, the timing of alcohol exposure contributes to each baby’s development in a unique way. The safest thing you can do is avoid alcohol all throughout your pregnancy.

Can alcohol cause miscarriage? 

Studies show that when a pregnant woman continues to drink heavily,  her chances of miscarrying increase each week.  If you are concerned that you might have miscarried, you should seek medical care at once. 


How do I avoid drinking alcohol while pregnant? 

Avoiding alcohol for nine months feels hard, so first ask for support from your friends and family. Then, remove all alcohol from your house and avoid situations where you would feel pressured to drink. Find a non-alcoholic drink that still feels fun, like caffeine-free tea, sparkling sodas, or smoothies. Lastly, find ways to celebrate or manage your stress that doesn’t involve alcohol. 

Can the father’s drinking affect my pregnancy? 

Scientists aren’t sure whether alcohol affects sperm. Currently, studies only show complications with alcohol exposure after conception (when the egg and sperm meet). But, a father can still play an important role in helping his partner avoid alcohol during her pregnancy. 

I’m getting an abortion. Can I still drink alcohol? 

If you’re considering an abortion, educate and empower yourself with information about all of your options. Refrain from drinking alcohol before, during, or immediately after an abortion or any medical procedure. Certain medications for pain or infection could interfere with alcohol. Plus, alcohol can thin your blood and could cause added complications after an abortion. 

I think I’m an alcoholic and pregnant, what should I do? 

You’re incredibly brave for acknowledging that you’re experiencing an addiction to alcohol. You’ll need professional help to stop drinking. Women find hope and healing in support groups, counseling, outpatient treatment, and even medication. Prioritize your health and well-being today and call us at (315)782-5433. 


Navigating an unplanned pregnancy feels overwhelming. At Care Net of NNY, our kind, compassionate staff wants to walk with you through your unplanned pregnancy. We will empower you to make the best decision for you, while offering support and answering questions. Make an appointment online or call us today at (315)782-5433.