What should I know about alcohol use and pregnancy?

Any alcohol that a pregnant woman consumes is passed along to her baby.

Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of birth defects.

There is no known safe amount, time, or type of alcohol to drink.



For Expecting and New Moms

What is My Baby & Me?
My Baby & Me is a program that helps women have healthy, alcohol-free pregnancies. If you choose to participate, you will receive:

  • Education about your health, your baby’s health, and alcohol
  • Personalized counseling sessions and support over the phone from a Pregnancy Educator
  • Gift cards for participating


What will happen if I participate?

  • The Pregnancy Educator will call you within 5 business days after your prenatal care appointment.
    • Caller I.D. may display 1-608-251-1675.
    • If you do NOT hear from us within 5 business days after your appointment, please feel free to call us at: 1-800-448-5148 ext. 118.
  • You and the Pregnancy Educator talk about your health, your baby’s health and about prenatal alcohol use
  • Additional services and resources will be offered if desired
  • Gift cards will be sent to you for your participation


Is this program confidential?

  • Yes! The My Baby & Me program is completely confidential. We will not share your information with anyone without your written permission.


Why Should You Be Concerned About Alcohol?

When you drink, alcohol travels through the placenta and umbilical cord to your baby. Your baby will absorb all of the alcohol and have the same blood alcohol content as you do.

The Institute of Medicine says, “Of all the substances of abuse (including cocaine, heroin, and marijuana), alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus.”

It is not known if there is a “safe” amount of alcohol. It is has been proven that heavy drinking is clearly linked to birth defects, and even small amounts of alcohol have been linked to negative outcomes. Every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. That is why the My Baby & Me program recommends that women avoid alcohol while pregnant.

Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause:

  • Babies to be  born early (prematurely) – which has many complications like breathing, heart, and eye problems
  • Low birth weight
  • Miscarriage or Stillbirth
  • Birth Defects, and/or
  • Learning, Emotional, and Behavioral problems in children

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) refers to a range of problems associated with alcohol use during pregnancy. The effects can be mild to very, very serious and can last a lifetime. Brain damage is one of the potential serious effects of FASD. It can result in severe learning and behavior problems.


View more information on pregnancy and postpartum health.