If you are planning to become pregnant or trying to conceive, it is recommended to begin abstaining from alcohol due to the concern of heavy drinking causing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD is a set of developmental, mental, and physical problems that can occur in children whose mothers consumed heavy amounts of alcohol or engaged in binge drinking during pregnancy. Thus, the most conservative and safest recommendation is to abstain from alcohol completely when trying to conceive.
However, if you do consume alcohol prior to realizing you are pregnant, it is unlikely to be cause for concern because risks of FASD are generally associated with heavy or binge drinking. To learn more about the impact of drinking before you knew you were pregnant, speak to your healthcare provider. Depending on the country you live in, your culture and the culture you live in, and your midwife or obstetrician, the guidelines on alcohol use just before and during pregnancy may differ. Speak to your healthcare provider before becoming pregnant to learn more and come up with a plan that works best for you.
For resources on managing an alcohol use disorder:
Contact ConnexOntario to learn more about services for quitting.