You may have heard otherwise at one point or another, but a leading group of pediatricians has released a new report warning that no amount of alcohol -- not even a small serving -- is safe to drink at any time during pregnancy.
In the report titled "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders," the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stresses that alcohol-related birth defects and developmental disabilities, or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), can be prevented when expectant mothers abstain from drinking alcohol. The doctors also warn that there's no trimester in which drinking alcohol is safe and that all types of alcoholic beverages -- hard liquor, wine, and beer -- actually pose the same risks to the fetus. In other words, no alcohol, no exceptions.
"Prenatal alcohol exposure is a frequent cause of structural or functional effects on the brain, heart, bones and spine, kidneys, vision and hearing," the organization said in a press release. "It's associated with a higher incidence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and specific learning disabilities such as difficulties with mathematics and language, visual-spatial functioning, impaired impulse control, information processing, memory skills, problem solving, abstract reasoning and auditory comprehension."