Alcohol and Pregnancy

Alcohol and Pregnancy
Advice about drinking alcohol while pregnant is often contradictory but each woman and pregnancy is different.

The UK Government advises that if you stick to just one or two units once or twice a week, it is highly unlikely that your baby will be harmed.

Trying to Conceive

The amount of alcohol you consume affects your fertility and your ability to conceive. At the beginning of a pregnancy excessive drinking, especially getting drunk, can cause a miscarriage. If you are trying to get pregnant, drink no more than one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week and avoid getting drunk.

During Pregnancy

Alcohol consumed by a pregnant woman passes through the placenta and can affect the development of the baby. This is the case throughout the whole of the pregnancy, not just the start. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)is when excessive drinking during pregnancy leads to low weight at birth and affects the physical and mental health of the child. Again, the advice is avoid getting drunk and drink no more than one or two units once or twice a week. The strength and size of a drink determines how many units it has. Always check the label to make sure you do not exceed the recommended amount.


Alcohol is passed to the baby in small amounts in breast milk. The milk will smell different to the baby and may affect their feeding, sleeping or digestion. Avoid drinking alcohol shortly before feeding your baby. Whether you're breastfeeding or not, the recommended daily benchmark for women is between two and three units of alcohol a day. The benchmark applies whether you drink every day, once or twice a week, or occasionally.

April 2011
, Editor.

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