Alcohol: is drinking safe during pregnancy?

Alcohol: is drinking safe during pregnancy?

Alcohol during pregnancyFor years I have always advocated no alcohol in pregnancy. I think it’s sensible to abstain because there is no real evidence to show just how much alcohol is safe while you’re expecting.

But please don’t panic if you did have a drink or two just prior to discovering you were pregnant. The key is simply to stop now that you know you’re having a baby.

Many mums-to-be have been confused by the slightly differing advice on a safe drinking limit from the Department of Health on one hand, and the independent National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), on the other.

NICE recommends that women avoid drinking alcohol in the first three months of pregnancy, because there may be an increased risk of miscarriage. They suggest that if you do choose to drink while expecting, you should have no more than one or two units once or twice a week and should not get drunk.

One unit is equivalent to half a pint of ordinary strength beer, lager or cider, while a small glass (125ml) of ordinary strength wine equals one-and-a-half units.

However the Department of Health recommends that all pregnant women, regardless of what stage of pregnancy they’re at, should avoid alcohol completely. That said, just like NICE, they suggest that if you do choose to drink you should limit yourself to one or two units once or twice a week and not get drunk.

But as I’ve said, I personally believe that the only safe limit for alcohol in pregnancy is none at all.

Now tell us what worked for you…

Where do you sit in this debate? Did you drink during your pregnancy?

Post Comment