NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The American Association of Pediatricians published a report in the medical journal Pediatrics on Monday that found drinking alcohol at any stage of pregnancy poses health risks to the fetus.
First-trimester drinking, compared to no drinking, results in 12 times the odds of giving birth to a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
"The research suggests that the smartest choice for women who are pregnant is to just abstain from alcohol completely," said Dr. Janet F. Williams, MD, FAAP, one of the report's lead authors.
Alcohol in the mother's blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord.
Prenatal exposure to alcohol is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual and neuro-developmental disabilities in children, according to the report.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which advocates not drinking at all during pregnancy, 6 to 9 out of 1,000 school children in the United States has FASD.