No Alcohol is Safe

I neither drink alcohol nor have kids but, being part of a large family, I have had plenty of experience with children and people who do drink. Thankfully, they’re all smart enough not to drink while pregnant, but there are people who feel that one or two drinks is alright while pregnant.

So what is a safe amount to drink while pregnant? The answer is obviously none! The entire process is a bit like smoking: the more you smoke, the more likely you’ll be to have lung issues. While a drink or two may not initially harm your unborn child, the more you drink, the higher the chance of harm becomes. That’s not to say one or two drinks is alright; any alcohol has to potential to cause premature birth, stillbirths, miscarriages, birth defects, any condition across the Fetal Alcohol Disorder spectrum, or cause your baby to be born underweight.

If you’re planning to breastfeed once your baby is born, you should still avoid alcoholic drinks. The concentration of alcohol in your blood is the same as the concentration in breastmilk, basically giving your child fermented milk (if that’s a thing). The alcohol can stay in your system for several hours and reduce the amount of milk produced. Consuming alcohol-laced breastmilk can also affect the development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord.

In the time before getting pregnant, you should plan to stop drinking and, unfortunately, so should your partner. Alcohol affects the fertility of both men and women, so avoiding that dinner-time wine will increase your chances of becoming pregnant. You should also avoid alcohol while actively trying to become pregnant because you may become pregnant without realizing it and harm the baby with alcohol.

Long story short, it’s shouldn’t drink while pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding; all for your child’s safety. You can enjoy your drinks again once you’ve finished breastfeeding, just make sure your child doesn’t get into any of it.

Info: Australian Government Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/alcohol/alcohol-throughout-life/alcohol-during-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding

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