Nearly 18 percent of pregnant women are drinking alcohol during the first trimester of pregnancy, reports the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) this week.
According to the report, which is based on the 2011 and 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data, a little more than six percent of women in their first trimester of pregnancy engage in binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion at least once in the past 30 days).
Women who drink alcohol while pregnant increase the risk of physical, learning, and behavior problems in their infants as well as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, according to SAMHSA.
The report found that alcohol use declined by pregnant women during the second and third trimesters.
NSDUH is a scientifically conducted annual survey of approximately 67,500 people throughout the country, aged 12 and older
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.