(HealthDay News) -- Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause your baby to be born with a series of physical and mental birth defects called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). It's a leading cause of mental retardation.
No one knows exactly how much alcohol a woman has to drink to cause FAS in her baby (and that level may be different among women). So experts agree that the best thing to do is not to drink alcohol at all while you are pregnant -- that includes beer, wine, wine coolers and liquor.
The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation offers these tips to help you quit:
- Avoid situations where you usually drink, like parties or bars.
- Ask your health care provider about alcohol treatment programs.
- Ask your partner, family and friends to help you stay away from alcohol.
- Join an Alcoholics Anonymous support group.