Be clear on the facts

Congratulations on your pregnancy! But rather than celebrating with a glass of bubbly, we’re here to knock it out of your hand and replace it with a bottle of sparkling water. Sorry!

We’re sure you’ve been inundated with the dos and dont’s of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, but we’re here to set the record straight.

Now, the general consensus is ideally to avoid alcohol entirely throughout your pregnancy – or at least for the first three months of it – because of the risk of miscarrying. If you absolutely must, according to the Department of Health, one or two units once or twice a week is the maximum allowance. This is the equivalent of a small glass of wine or half a pint of weak beer.

But forewarned is forearmed and it’s important that you’re aware of all the facts. For example, you pass alcohol on to your baby through your bloodstream via the placenta. The baby’s liver is one of the last organs to develop and the foetus can’t process booze nearly as well as you can.

Drinking more than the recommended amount could result in Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which causes restricted growth, facial abnormalities and learning and behavioural disorders (NHS). The more you drink, the more risk.

If you’d rather avoid alcohol altogether, giving up for nine months might not be as difficult as you think. Most women go off the taste early on in pregnancy.

To keep an eye on your alcohol intake during pregnancy, Drinkaware is amazing for breaking it down. The NHS Drinks Tracker app is another handy tool for smartphone users.

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