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alcohol and pregnancy1

Alcohol and pregnancy don't mix

Alcohol and pregnancy don't mix

We're working with partners across the North East to send out the message that alcohol and pregnancy don't mix.

There is a lot of advice out there but an alcohol free pregnancy is by far the safest option.

What does alcohol do to an unborn baby?
If you're pregnant, when you drink alcohol it passes from your blood, through the placenta, to your baby. Because your baby is still developing, it can't process alcohol, and exposure to alcohol can seriously affect its development.

Trying to conceive
The advice is don't drink alcohol if you're trying to get pregnant. Alcohol can be passed to your unborn baby, and exposure to alcohol can affect your baby’s development.

The first three months
If you drink at any time during your pregnancy, the alcohol can affect your baby.and cause birth abnormalities. Further, research suggests that drinking in early pregnancy also increases the risk of premature birth, low birth weight and miscarriage

All through your pregnancy
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to a combination of restricted growth, facial abnormalities, and behavioural problems, one or more of these problems can still occur when mothers have been drinking at much lower levels. The less you drink, the lower the risks are likely to be - so an alcohol free pregnancy is the safest option

I've heard about Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), what is it?
FASD is a series of preventable birth defects, both mental and physical, caused by a woman drinking alcohol at any time during her pregnancy. These defects of the brain and the body exist only because of prenatal exposure to alcohol.

FASD is preventable but although it’s still underdiagnosed, statistics show that approximately 1% of all babies born may have some form of FASD. This suggests that over 300 babies born each year in the North East may suffer from the condition - that is around one baby born each day with some form of FASD and 26,000 people in the North East could be affected. On a national level it is thought that approximately 630,000 children and adults are affected.

You can read more about FASD here.

Guidelines
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises women who are pregnant to avoid alcohol in the first three months in particular, because of the increased risk of miscarriage. However, researchers don’t know how much alcohol is safe to drink when pregnant. They do know that the risk of damage to your unborn baby increases the more you drink and that binge drinking is especially harmful. No alcohol is the best and safest choice.