December 16, 2014pregnancy and alcohol

Feeling Guilty About That One Glass of Wine at Christmas?

There are so many restrictions on pregnant women when it comes to what to drink, what to eat and of course these restrictions may be based either on scientific and medical research or simply social pressure.  We have decided to take a look at the official advice for you and see.

Official Guidance

The NHS stance on drinking alcohol during pregnancy is that abstinence during pregnancy is the best option, with the NHS Choices website  quoting the chief medical officer whose official opinion is that any pregnant women or those trying to get pregnant should not drink alcohol at all.

The chief medical officer and the advice offered does however recognise that while no alcohol is perceived as best that not all women will want to follow this guidance. The information goes on to then suggest that if women choose to drink that they should limit their intake to no more than one or two units per week and that under no circumstances should they get drunk.

Drinking in Pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

There is a wealth of information available regarding the concerns associated with drinking during pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It is important to remember that what the mother eats, drinks and takes (drug and medicine-wise) is passed onto the developing baby which is why the guidelines exists.

NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) advises, much like the NHS that alcohol should be avoided throughout pregnancy and that it should most definitely be avoided in the first trimester  due to links to alcohol increasing the risk of miscarriage.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is of course a no-go, with studies showing that babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may suffer with very serious health complications and issues, including yet not limited to heart problems, facial deformities, liver and kidney damage, cerebral palsy and more. This type of damage occurs earlier on in the pregnant when the mother is drinking heavily.

wine when pregnant

So Is it Ok to Have a Glass With Christmas Lunch?

The NHS guidelines are based on scientific fact and as such should not be ignored. That said if you are planning for a single glass of wine with Christmas lunch or a small one to toast in the new year then this is a decision that you have to make for yourself and certainly falls within the guidance which suggests limiting intake to one unit a week.

Make the decision based on what you and your family believe as well as official guidance, not because of any socially set rules and if you have any concerns discuss the issue with your midwife who will be able to advise you on whether that glass or two over Christmas is something to worry about or not, and whether they feel that it is wise given your individual circumstances.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/alcohol-medicines-drugs-pregnant.aspx

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