Welcome to the NOFAS Information and Resource Clearinghouse. Search the state-by-state resource directory, review recent research, learn how alcohol interferes with healthy development, and contact NOFAS with your question.
NOFAS welcomes your phone calls, e-mails and letters. Please keep in mind that NOFAS does not provide direct assistance, such as treatment or legal services. We do, however, provide Information & Referral to many services and supports across the country. We encourage you to contact the NOFAS affiliate in your area, as our affiliates are often the most knowledgeable about local services. You can find more local resources in our Resource Directory.
Key Facts on Alcohol and Pregnancy
There is no safe amount or type of alcohol during pregnancy. Any amount of alcohol, even if it’s just one glass of wine, passes from the mother to the baby. It makes no difference if the alcohol is a liquor or distilled spirit such as vodka, or beer or wine.
A developing baby can’t process alcohol. Developing babies lack the ability to process, or metabolize, alcohol through the liver or other organs. They absorb all of the alcohol and have the same blood alcohol concentration as the mother.
Alcohol causes more harm than heroin or cocaine during pregnancy. The Institute of Medicine says, “Of all the substances of abuse (including cocaine, heroin, and marijuana), alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus.”
Alcohol used during pregnancy can result in FASD. An estimated 40,000 newborns each year are affected by FASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, with damage ranging from serious to subtle.
1 in 100 babies have FASD, nearly the same rate as Autism. FASD is more prevalent than Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, SIDS, Cystic Fibrosis, and Spina Bifida combined. Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of birth defects, developmental disabilities, and learning disabilities.