Avoiding alcohol in pregnancy

If you’re trying to get pregnant, avoid alcohol. Your partner shouldn’t drink more than two standard drinks a day.

If you’re pregnant, it’s safest not to drink any alcohol. Drinking alcohol when pregnant can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and abnormalities in your baby.

Alternatives to drinking alcohol in pregnancy

Drinking alcohol when you’re pregnant can lead to problems with your child’s learning and emotional and social development. The most serious problem is fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

You can have non-alcoholic drinks like water, milk, herbal teas and non-alcoholic wine and beer. Check the label of non-alcoholic drinks because some can contain small amounts of alcohol.

If you drink alcohol to manage stress, look for other ways to relax or treat yourself.

No safe levels of alcohol in pregnancy

There are no safe levels of alcohol in pregnancy. Drinking alcohol in pregnancy can harm your unborn baby. Not drinking while pregnant is safest.

If you’re breastfeeding, it’s safest not to drink alcohol. Alcohol passes straight into breastmilk and can affect a baby’s brain development. 

If you can stop or cut down on drinking in pregnancy, it’s good for your health and your baby’s. If you need support, speak to your GP or midwife.

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Last updated or reviewed
12-12-2016

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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