Based on advice from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the safest option for women is to abstain from drinking if they are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Alcohol and pregnancy
The safest option for women is to abstain from drinking if they are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding.
The safest choice for your baby is to abstain from drinking alcohol.
Alcohol crosses from the mother’s blood stream into the baby’s blood stream and can affect the baby’s development. If you are pregnant and drink then so does your baby and that can cause harm.
What if you drank before you knew you were pregnant?
If you consumed alcohol before you knew you were pregnant and have concerns, it’s important to talk to your doctor or obstetrician.
The risks of alcohol on pregnancy
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a term used to describe a range of disabilities and a continuum of effects that may arise from prenatal alcohol exposure. It includes diagnoses such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS), Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND) and Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD).
- Prenatal alcohol exposure can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This is a term used to describe a range of conditions that result from brain damage caused by alcohol exposure before birth. Other effects of alcohol exposure during pregnancy can include miscarriage, still birth, premature birth and low birth weight.
Alcohol & breastfeeding
The amount of alcohol in your blood is the same as the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk. It’s therefore recommended that you should avoid drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.
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It’s safest not to drink while pregnant – education resources
DrinkWise has produced brochures and posters for general consumer information and medical centers/GP waiting rooms, advising women that it is safest not to drink while pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding. The resources provide information about the effects of alcohol on the body and recommend consumers to talk to their doctors or obstetricians if they would like more information on the risks and effects of consuming alcohol while pregnant. The resources can be downloaded and printed below.DrinkWise alcohol & pregnancy printable
DrinkWise alcohol & pregnancy poster