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Even Future Fathers Can Cause Alcohol-Related Birth Defects

Even Future Fathers Can Cause Alcohol-Related Birth Defects

While everyone knows the dangers of drinking while pregnant, many people do not know that fathers should also abstain from alcohol consumption.

A new study shows that fathers should abstain from drinking before conception to reduce the risk of their child developing congenital heart disease. Alcohol consumption is linked to health problems in newborns along with an increase in illnesses related to alcoholism for the alcoholic too. Here’s how to lower your risk and your future child’s risk.

Why Men Should Avoid Drinking Three Months Before Conception

  If you are looking to conceive a child, both parties must abstain from alcohol consumption. While the dangers of mothers drinking are well understood, new science has come to light regarding alcohol and heart disease for newborns. Fathers who drink in the three months before conception are 44% more likely to have newborns with congenital heart disease. Fathers who participate in binge drinking leading up to conception are 52% more likely to have a baby with a congenital heart defect.1

There have also been studies about the paternal contribution to fetal alcohol syndrome. Studies show that alcohol exposure changes DNA in developing sperm and the activity of the sperm itself.2

Studies are only beginning to fully illuminate the dangers of drinking before conception. Alcohol consumption by both mothers and fathers has been proven to increase the risk of alcohol-related birth defects for newborns and babies. Men and women should not drink for three to six months leading up to conception, and women should avoid all alcohol during their pregnancy. Drinking before conception can increase the chances of having a baby with alcohol-related birth defects like congenital heart disease.

Getting Sober at Banyan Treatment Centers

  Understanding the dangers of drinking before conception and the secondhand dangers of drinking may inspire you to get the help you need to get sober. At Banyan Treatment Centers, we offer the full continuum of care to help people break free from alcoholism, binge drinking, and other alcohol abuse struggles.

Our programs include alcohol detox, residential treatment, intensive outpatient care, and alumni support programs that keep you on track in recovery. Whether you’re getting sober for yourself or for your growing family, you need help to work through the recovery process. We’re here to help you get and stay sober.  

Call 888-280-4763 to begin the recovery process with our team at Banyan Treatment Centers.


  1. CNN - Dads-to-be should stop drinking 6 months before conception for baby's heart health, study says
  2. Addiction Biology - Paternal contribution to fetal alcohol syndrome
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.