Alcohol Effects on a Fetus
British Columbia Specific Information
According to Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, there is no safe amount, and no safe time, to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy puts your developing baby at risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, also known as FASD.
FASD is the term used to describe the problems and disorders that a baby may have as a result of a woman drinking alcohol while she is pregnant. These problems and disorders can include birth defects, slow growth, brain damage, and vision and hearing problems. For information on FASD and the effects it can have on your baby’s health, see HealthLinkBC File #38e Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or visit the Ministry of Child and Family Development About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Health Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Public Health Agency of Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder web pages.
Similar to drinking alcohol while pregnant, taking drugs during pregnancy or while breastfeeding may harm your baby. This includes prescribed, over the counter and prohibited drugs. For more information about the risks of exposing your baby to drugs, chemicals and diseases, visit the frequently asked questions section of the Motherisk website.
Individual, family, and small group counselling is available to people of all ages who are directly or indirectly affected by alcohol and other drug use. You can call the 24-hour BC Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service at 604-660-9382 or toll-free at 1-800-663-1441. You may also search HealthLinkBC's FIND Services and Resources Directory or contact your local health authority to find mental health and substance use support in your area.