It has been known for a long time that drinking during a pregnancy can harm developing babies, resulting in abnormal behavior and appearance, low intelligence scores, hyperactivity and social problems. Children born with these characterisitcs has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).
Observers a century ago saw that alcoholic mothers produced children with significant mental and physical deficiencies.
In the United States, FAS is the third most common cause of mental retardation.
Older adolescents with FAS fare poorly in school, achieving math and word skill scores on a 2nd to 4th grade level.
Children with FAS have an average IQ of less than 70.
Children who has FAS weighs less at birth than the average newborn, so some die as infants.
A child born with FAS is usually small or premature with a smaller skull, eyes, upper lip, and nose.
Even a small amount of liquor can negatively affect a baby's development and cause a lower birth weight or a higher risk of miscarriage.
Studies have shown that even one occurrence of binge drinking during pregnancy can result in a damaged fetus.
Alcohol-related birth defects are estimated to cost American taxpayers $321 million each year.
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome reports that at least one in five pregnant women uses alcohol and/or other drugs during pregnancy.