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County of Sonoma California

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An Alcohol-free Pregnancy is the Best Choice for Your Baby

photo of a pregnant womanWhen a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her baby. Why take the risk?

What we know:

There's no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant.

All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beer.

Alcohol can cause problems for a developing baby throughout pregnancy, including before a woman knows she's pregnant.

What can happen:

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).

Sonoma County rates:

In Sonoma County, alcohol use during pregnancy is higher than the average rate in California. Over a quarter of babies born in Sonoma County in 2011, were born to women that self reported alcohol use in the 1st or 3rd trimester. (Source: Maternal Infant Health Assessment, CA, 2011)

Unplanned pregnancies can also be impacted by alcohol. Nearly 800 Sonoma County babies were born to women that self reported binge drinking three months before pregnancy. (Source: Maternal Infant Health Assessment, CA, 2011)

What you can do:

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are completely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Call the Early Start Warm Line at (707) 569-2022 with any questions about developmental issues for children aged birth to three years old.

Doctors can use the "Confidential Women's Health Questionnaire" screening tool (pdf) with pregnant patients.

Doctors can also review this presentation about the Prevention of Substance Exposed Pregnancy (pdf).

Learn more about local efforts to reduce Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Use during pregnancy by visiting

For more information on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, visit or call 800-CDC-INFO.

Spread the word of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day on September 9, 2014.

public health logoThis message is brought to you by the Maternal Child Adolescent Health Program of the Public Health Division of the Department of Health Services.


For more information, please contact:
Maternal, Child, Adolescent Health
625 5th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Phone: (707) 565-4494
Toll Free: (800) 427-8982

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