Research from Yale’s School of Public Health shows a concerning number of live births still involve alcohol exposure.
The study showed that more than half of pregnancies, 54%, were exposed to at least one alcoholic drink over the nine months of pregnancy.
Researchers estimate that unintended pregnancies account for 80% of the pregnancies unknowingly exposed to alcohol. And that exposure more often happens before the pregnancy is recognized.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can result in lifelong harm to the developing embryos and fetuses, called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Up to 1.5% of the U.S. population is affected by this condition.
While not all fetuses exposed to alcohol will develop these complications, the threshold for safe alcohol consumption is currently unknown.