It’s difficult to predict exactly how an unborn baby is affected by alcohol. The effects of a mother’s drinking on an unborn baby depends on many things, such as:

  • how much the mother drinks during pregnancy

  • when in the pregnancy the mother drinks

  • how often the mother drinks

  • how well the mother’s body breaks down the alcohol

  • the ability of the unborn baby’s developing body to handle alcohol

  • the use of drugs, other than alcohol

  • other factors, like the mother’s nutrition and smoking habits

What we do know for sure is that alcohol can harm an unborn baby while it is developing. What we don’t know is how much alcohol it takes to cause the harm. That’s why it’s best for pregnant women not to drink at all during pregnancy.

But remember: it’s never too late for a pregnant woman to stop drinking. And at any time in pregnancy, cutting back on how much she drinks, or stopping altogether, is better for her unborn baby.