If I'm planning to be or I am pregnant can I drink?
Drinking any alcohol while pregnant can put your baby at risk. Your child could be born early, or seriously underweight. They could even end up with a form of brain damage known as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
Even small amounts of alcohol can enter your baby’s body as it develops. As there is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink when pregnant, your midwife will recommend that no alcohol is always the safest choice. No alcohol means no risk.
How could alcohol affect my baby?
A baby’s brain and body are growing and developing for the entire nine months of pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can affect how the baby’s brain and body develops. It may result in mental and physical problems in your baby, called Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
People who live with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) may experience a range of lifelong disabilities. Some are noticeable at birth and others appear as the child grows and develops.
Some noticeable signs at birth include:
- low birth weight
- small head
- distinctive facial features
Only a small percentage of those affected will have these physical characteristics. Many individuals with FASD may experience difficulties in some of the following areas:
- attention, learning and memory
- sensory impairment
- understanding the world around them
- poor social skills
- delayed language development
- delay in meeting milestones
Make every trimester #DRYMESTER
#DRYMESTER is a new campaign for Greater Manchester, highlighting the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
#DRYMESTER encourages pregnant women or those planning pregnancy to make every trimester a #DRYMESTER and go alcohol free for the entire nine months of pregnancy.
Mums-to-be can nominate partners, family and friends to get involved and join them in one alcohol free trimester each.
Take on the #DRYMESTER challenge. Together we can create more healthy pregnancies and help reduce the risks.
How can I enjoy myself without having a drink?
At some point you'll probably be at a party, out for a meal or in the pub and you may be the only person not drinking. That’s ok. Staying sober in pregnancy – or at any time – doesn't have to be boring. You can be teetotal and still feel part of the fun. It just takes a bit of imagination and think of the calories you are not consuming.
Bars and pubs often list non-alcoholic cocktails on their menus. Or ask for your usual cocktail without the vodka or gin.
Time for a toast
When everyone around you is drinking champagne as a toast, drink sparkling apple or grapefruit juice from a champagne glass.
Set your imagination free
Why not liven things up? Try your own soft drink combinations… For starters, try cranberry juice, orange juice, sparkling water, ice and lime
Make mine a beer
There has been an explosion in alcohol-free versions of some of our favourite drinks. Many lagers, craft ales, wines, bubblies, and even gins. You might be surprised what you’ll find.
Fresh fruit juice and milk-based drinks will help you to get some of the nutrients you and your baby need.
You'll save money, as non-alcoholic drinks cost less.
There won't be any quarrels about who's going to drive home.
You won't be nursing a hangover the next day.