Alcohol During Pregnancy

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Here's what all moms need to know about drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

“Is it OK for me to indulge in an occasional sip of alcohol?”

It’s one of the biggest questions pregnant women wonder about, and it doesn’t help that the responses can be unclear. Some healthcare professionals might advise you to stop drinking entirely and others might suggest that light drinking won’t harm your baby.

The problem with alcohol during pregnancy

Currently, there is no proven safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This is because the placenta cannot completely filter out alcohol, meaning that a percentage still makes its way to the baby.

Alcohol can cause problems in unborn babies. When exposed to alcohol inside the womb, babies are susceptible to Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD is the broad term for a number of alcohol-related disorders in babies, including:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS)
  • Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND)
  • Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD)

Alcohol can also cause a number of defects in unborn babies, including:

  • Low IQ
  • Low birth weight
  • Spontaneous miscarriage
  • Attention and learning difficulties

When alcohol makes its way to your baby it also stops the absorption of folic acid and iron, as well as reducing the calcium levels in the bones of you and your baby. Folic acid is one of the most important nutrients your baby needs to develop and grow healthily.

Your safest option

The safest option when you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant is to not consume alcohol at all. This is the recommendation of The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia’s main health research organisation.

Basically, whenever you drink alcohol, so does your unborn baby.

Alcohol replacement suggestions

Avoiding alcohol might seem easy in your first trimester when morning sickness turns you off almost everything. However, moving into your second trimester you might be feeling better and feel up for a sneaky drink or two.

Don’t punish yourself or worry too much if you have a drink after your first trimester. Just try not to do it again and avoid alcohol for the rest of your pregnancy.

Every drink you don’t have is good for your unborn baby. 

Try replacing a glass of alcohol with a glass of soda water with fresh lemon or lime and mint leaves. You could also consider replacing your Friday night drink with another stress-relieving activity. A nice warm bath, a spa treatment or a long walk in nature, are all good ideas.

It might also be a good idea to see if your partner might consider supporting you throughout your pregnancy. It helps if your main drinking partner is choosing mocktails as well.

The information published herein is intended and strictly only for informational, educational, purposes and the same shall not be misconstrued as medical advice. If you are worried about your own health, or your child’s well being, seek immediate medical advice. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website. Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries assumes no liability for the interpretation and/or use of the information contained in this article. Further, while due care and caution has been taken to ensure that the content here is free from mistakes or omissions, Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information here, and to the extent permitted by law, Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries do not accept any liability or responsibility for claims, errors or omissions.

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