7 doctors weighed in:
Will drinking during pregnancy always result in fetal alcohol syndrome?
7 doctors weighed in

2 doctors agree
In brief: Not always, but...
Alcohol can damage a baby's brain causing cognitive, learning, emotional and behavior problems.
We don't know how much alcohol it takes, but we do know that drinking too much on just a few occasions can cause FAS even if you don't drink at all during the rest of the pregnancy! best option—no drinking while pregnant. Next best—stop drinking as early as possible in pregnancy.

In brief: Not always, but...
Alcohol can damage a baby's brain causing cognitive, learning, emotional and behavior problems.
We don't know how much alcohol it takes, but we do know that drinking too much on just a few occasions can cause FAS even if you don't drink at all during the rest of the pregnancy! best option—no drinking while pregnant. Next best—stop drinking as early as possible in pregnancy.
Dr. Gwendolyn Messer
Dr. Gwendolyn Messer
Thank
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
In brief: Dose/time related
We know that alcohol freely passes to the fetus.
We know it breaks down to formaldehyde & other byproducts that are toxic to nerves and tissue.The worst cases of FAS occur to alcoholics, but lesser fetal alcohol effects like ADHD or learning problems overlap with other causes.Making a definitive statement about all drinking is difficult. However, we also know of no safe level for alcohol exposure.

In brief: Dose/time related
We know that alcohol freely passes to the fetus.
We know it breaks down to formaldehyde & other byproducts that are toxic to nerves and tissue.The worst cases of FAS occur to alcoholics, but lesser fetal alcohol effects like ADHD or learning problems overlap with other causes.Making a definitive statement about all drinking is difficult. However, we also know of no safe level for alcohol exposure.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
Thank
Dr. William Singer
Pediatrics - Neurology
In brief: No
Concern about alcohol intake during pregnancy is a great concern.
But the great majority of children whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy do not have FAS.

In brief: No
Concern about alcohol intake during pregnancy is a great concern.
But the great majority of children whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy do not have FAS.
Dr. William Singer
Dr. William Singer
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Alan Wartenberg
however, in heavy daily drinkers, the rate of fetal alcohol EFFECTS (not the full syndrome, but significant pieces of it) is VERY HIGH.
Dr. David Finke
Obstetrics & Gynecology
In brief: We don't know
We don't know if there is a "safe" amount to drink during pregnancy.
We do know that repeated, continuous exposure to alcohol for a growing baby will cause fetal alcohol syndrome. We don't know how much is too much. For this reason, you won't hear a lot of doctors/midwives say drinking occasionally is ok. I think one glass of wine on rare occasions is safe.

In brief: We don't know
We don't know if there is a "safe" amount to drink during pregnancy.
We do know that repeated, continuous exposure to alcohol for a growing baby will cause fetal alcohol syndrome. We don't know how much is too much. For this reason, you won't hear a lot of doctors/midwives say drinking occasionally is ok. I think one glass of wine on rare occasions is safe.
Dr. David Finke
Dr. David Finke
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Shontae Buffington
Board Certified, Pediatrics
13 years in practice
834K people helped
Continue
107,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors