When you’re pregnant it can seem like you’re offered a lot of information.
The different magazines, websites and books tell you should, and should not do, for the next nine months. Understandably it can be hard to know where to go for trustworthy advice. This is especially true when it comes to advice about drinking alcohol when you’re pregnant.
Read on to get clear advice about alcohol and pregnancy.
Not drinking alcohol is the safest approach
Drinking alcohol at any stage during pregnancy can cause harm to your baby and the more you drink, the greater the risk. This is why the low risk drinking guidelines advise pregnant women that the safest approach is to not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant or think you may become pregnant, you’re also advised not to drink. But please be aware if you’re already pregnant and drank only small amounts of alcohol in the early stages of pregnancy, the risk of harm to the baby is low. However if you are worried, you should talk to your GP or midwife.
The Department of Health recommends that women who think they may become pregnant should not drink alcohol at all, this is to keep risks to the baby to a minimum.
View advice on alcohol and breastfeeding
NICE advice on miscarriage
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health.
NICE additionally advises that the risks of miscarriage in the first three months of pregnancy mean that it is particularly important for women not to drink alcohol at all during that period.(1) However, it is important to understand that drinking alcohol carries risk throughout the whole pregnancy, not only for the first three months.