pregnant woman

After a hard day of work, you may want to have a beer or maybe you want a glass of wine with dinner.

While these both seem harmless, for expectant mothers this may not be a good idea. Many people forget that alcohol is a toxin, and just like abusing cocaine during pregnancy, the effects of alcohol during pregnancy can be dangerous for the baby as well as the mother.

As providers of alcohol addiction treatment in Illinois, we know that trying to stop drinking when you become dependent on it is hard, but your future child will thank you.

The Side Effects of Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant

Not only is alcohol in large quantities or in the long-term damaging to a person’s health, but alcohol in the mother’s blood will be passed to the baby through the umbilical cord, and the result can be a handful of serious problems. These problems can happen with everything from heavy drinking to the occasional social drink.

Some of the dangerous effects of drinking while pregnant include:

  • Alcohol poisoning of the mother and fetus
  • Injury to the mother that could result in problems for the child
  • Neural tube problems like spina bifida
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is made up of a plethora of problems on its own including physical deformities, behavioral problems, and mental issues. It is estimated that 0.3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States ages 7 to 9 have FAS.1

Some of the common signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome include:

  • Death in infancy or the womb
  • Low birth weight
  • Facial deformities like wide-set eyes or a cleft lip
  • Heart defects
  • Deformities in joints or extremities
  • Kidney problems
  • Learning disabilities and slow mental development
  • Hyperactivity
  • Poor impulse control
  • Behavioral problems
  • Trouble socializing

While there is some research that suggests that a little bit of alcohol in pregnancy is okay, it is not worth the risk of the effects of drinking while pregnant. Especially for a high-functioning alcoholic or someone in recovery, one glass is just too tempting. If you are thinking about having a baby, it is important that for the sake of both you and your future child that you stop drinking or abusing drugs before you get pregnant. If you are already sober, it is important to stay that way. A recovery support program like our alumni program could make all the difference.

If you are ready to get sober and get your life back on track, at Banyan Chicago, we want to help.

Reach out to us today at 888-280-4763 to get started.


  1. CDC - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)

Get the help you need today at Banyan.

Don't surrender your life to addiction, take control and get your life back today. We've helped thousands of people empower themselves to take back control of their lives. It's time for your roots to grow in new soil!

Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.