Maternal Alcohol Use

The State of Wisconsin is leading the nation in alcohol consumption. The rate of Wisconsin women who are of childbearing age (18-44) and are drinking is at 68%; 18% higher than the national average.

There are also 110,000 pregnancies each year in Wisconsin, half of which are unplanned. Although it is hard to determine because many children are not tested, the likelihood that many fetuses are exposed to alcohol in Wisconsin is great.

A study in 1998 suggested that the number of pregnant women drinking alcohol in Wisconsin could be as high as 32 percent–one in four pregnant women in Wisconsin.

Part of the challenge is that many women do not know that they are pregnant until weeks or months after conception. There are also mixed messages from the media and from healthcare professionals about how much and what type of alcohol is “safe” during pregnancy.

What we know is that:

There is no safe time, safe amount or safe kind of alcohol to drink during pregnancy.


Effective Interventions to Prevent Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies