Research supports the recommendation for women to completely avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol is a substance known to cause harm to a developing baby during pregnancy as it is absorbed directly into the blood stream and travels through the placenta and into the developing baby.
There continues to be a lot of discussion about whether there is a ‘safe’ amount of alcohol for women who are pregnant, or actively trying to get pregnant. As we don’t know how much a pregnant woman would have to drink before risk of harm to the baby becomes significant, it is safer to avoid alcohol completely. Alcohol can have a wide range of differing impacts on the developing baby and these conditions are described under the label of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). These conditions are lifelong and there is no cure for them.
If you find out you are pregnant and you did drink some alcohol in early pregnancy before you knew you were pregnant, the risk of harm to your baby is likely to be low if you stop drinking immediately and remain alcohol free for the rest of pregnancy. If you think you might be pregnant, it is recommended to avoid drinking alcohol until you can take a pregnancy test to find out. If the test is positive, remaining alcohol-free is recommended. If you are worried or need more information please talk to your midwife.
Stress is often cited as a motivator for drinking alcohol. There are many ways to deal with stress that avoid the use of alcohol. Talk to your midwife and see the links below for tips on how to manage stress.
Mokopuna Ora – Feeling stressed? https://mokopunaora.nz/pregnancy-tips/feeling-stressed
10 Stress Busters – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/reduce-stress/