Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is common knowledge that alcohol consumption has been associated with risks to pregnancies. Since 1989, the United States has required a warning statement to be printed on all alcohol beverages that state:

GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.1

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “[t]here is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time for alcohol use during pregnancy.”2

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that, “prenatal alcohol exposure… is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as well as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).”3

The CDC notes that, “[i]t is never too late to stop alcohol use during pregnancy. Stopping alcohol use will improve the baby’s health and well-being.”4 For those who are breastfeeding, CDC offers guidance that, “[n]ot drinking alcohol is the safest option for breastfeeding mothers,” adding that, “[d]rinking alcoholic beverages is not an indication to stop breastfeeding; however, consuming more than one drink per day is not recommended.”5


  1. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Department of Treasury. (1990). 27 CFR Part 16: ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE HEALTH WARNING STATEMENT. Retrieved from:
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Alcohol use in pregnancy. Retrieved October 4, 2023 from,exposed%20to%20alcohol%20before%20birth.
  3. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021). Alcohol’s effects on health: Alcohol and your pregnancy. Retrieved October 4, 2023 from
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). Alcohol and Pregnancy Questions and Answers. “IQ: I just found out I am pregnant. I have stopped drinking now, but I was drinking in the first few weeks of my pregnancy, before I knew I was pregnant. What should I do now?” Retrieved October 4, 2023 from,baby’s%20health%20and%20well-being.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Breastfeeding: Alcohol. Retrieved October 4, 2023 from,Not%20drinking%20alcohol%20is%20the%20safest%20option%20for%20breastfeeding%20mothers,a%20single%20drink%20before%20nursing.