Drinking alcohol is not advised when pregnant, as it can be passed through the blood to the placenta and your baby's undeveloped liver can't process it. It is not fully clear what level of alcohol is harmful to babies in the womb so it is best to avoid drinking if you can.
It may not be as difficult as you think to avoid alcohol. Many people tell us they go off the taste of alcohol early in their pregnancy.
If you find out you're pregnant after already having drunk in early pregnancy, you should avoid further drinking.
If you are pregnant and would like some support to cut down the amount you drink, you can talk to your GP, midwife or call Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Health professionals will be able to help you to have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
How Does Alcohol Affect my Unborn Baby?
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to your developing baby. The more you drink, the greater the risk, because when you drink alcohol it passes through your blood to your unborn baby.
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, foetal alcohol syndrome or your baby having a low birthweight. It can also affect your baby after they're born.
Tips on Avoiding Alcohol
It is not recommended to drink while pregnant. If you do choose to drink, to protect your developing baby, you need to limit how many units you consume. Below is a rough guide of how many units are included in some common drinks.
Half pint beer = 1 unit
25ml spirits = 1 unit
125ml wine = 1.5 units
275ml bottle alcopop = 1.5 units
Use the unit calculator to find out how many units are in a particular drink, or to check how much you're drinking.
If you feel worried and would like more advice you can speak to your midwife throughout your pregnancy and up to 28 days after the birth of your baby.
If you live in Norfolk
If you live in Suffolk
In Norfolk, Change Grow Live (CGL), an alcohol and drug behaviour change service can support you to make positive change.
You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below.