Understanding Alcohol and Pregnancy
Whether you are pregnant, or trying for a baby, it’s important to remember that drinking alcohol while pregnant can put your baby at risk.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a lifelong condition that results from a baby being exposed to alcohol before birth. This exposure to alcohol can affect how the baby’s brain and body can develop. If you are a pregnant woman who needs support to stop drinking, contact your midwife or doctor.
No alcohol, no risk.
The Chief Medical Officers’ guideline states that:
- If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.
- Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk.
The Chief Medical Officers’ guideline for both men and women (who are not planning a pregnancy) is that:
- You are safest not to drink regularly more than 14 units per week, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level.
- If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over 3 days or more.