It is a question that has haunted the nation’s pregnant women for more than a decade.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) says that of the nearly 3,000 pregnant women who have been rescued from car wrecks and in other accidents, about one in five have a drinking problem.
Many of them are not drinking because they want to avoid having to go through an induced labor, or because they are trying to keep their babies alive.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 14 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 who have experienced alcohol use disorders in the past year are pregnant, and that in the last five years, the percentage has doubled to 23 percent.
The problem is not confined to the U.S. But it is prevalent worldwide.
In Australia, the number of pregnant women addicted to alcohol is higher than that of pregnant men.
In Britain, one in four pregnant women say they have been affected by alcohol, and about half of the women say that drinking is a major reason for their drinking.
“Women who drink are at increased risk for developing other health problems, including birth defects, which are linked to the development of brain and spinal cord damage,” said Dr. Michael M. Pankratz, the head of the CDC’s National Center on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“There are other factors that contribute to the increase in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and other fetal problems,” Pankratt added.
The CDC says that among pregnant women with a history of alcohol use disorder, 40 percent report drinking heavily or very heavily, compared with 22 percent of the general population.
“This study shows that pregnant women should not drink, and those who do should not have a history, and should seek help immediately,” Pinkerton said.
According to the CDC, a woman with a heavy alcohol use problem has an increased risk of premature birth and a lower chance of surviving her pregnancy.
A study conducted in Brazil found that those who drank the most, on average, were three times more likely to have a child who died at or before birth.
A similar study in the United Kingdom found that pregnant alcoholics were more likely than their peers to drink.
“It is well known that alcohol is a drug of abuse and can increase the risk of many chronic conditions,” Pinsky said.
“But the magnitude of this association and the high rate of fetal alcohol syndrome, especially in women who drink heavily, is particularly concerning.”
According to Maternal and Child Health Services, about 35 percent of pregnant and newborn mothers report that their drinking problem is one of the reasons for their behavior, and another 28 percent say they were influenced by alcohol.
A third of women in the U, S. and Mexico report drinking to get attention, and more than half of women who binge drink say that they are influenced by their drinking, according to the Center for Epidemiology and Prevention.
In Australia, about 30 percent of mothers who had a baby had alcohol use problems, and an estimated 40 percent of them said they were addicted to drugs or alcohol, according the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
“What we have found in Australia is that mothers who drink more often are more likely, if they are pregnant or if they drink at all, to have preterm labor,” Mink said.
The U.K. study also found that more than one in six women with heavy drinking problems have a baby who died before birth, and the CDC reported that in a recent study, nearly half of all newborns in the country who died had been born with a birth defect.
A new study by Mink, Pankrack, and colleagues published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology showed that a woman’s alcohol use also predicts the likelihood of having a baby with a disability.
According the study, which analyzed data from 2,567 women who participated in the Women’s Alcohol and Childbirth Study, women who reported that they drank excessively were five times more like to have an infant with a handicap than women who did not drink.
Mink said that when pregnant women drink too much, they can cause problems with their babies.
“When a woman is binge drinking, she may not be aware of how much alcohol she is consuming,” Mank said.
“She might be drinking all day, and then it becomes a habit.
She might be binge drinking at night, and her brain may not process it well.
It may not absorb it quickly enough and may cause it to go untreated.”
Pankrath said that even if pregnant women are not in any danger, they should talk to their doctor and drink a glass or two of water before going out.
“If they are really struggling, then talk to your doctor,” he said.
Dr. David Pankrick, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Illinois, is also working to understand the connection between alcohol and birth defects.
“I think there are