News and reviews > Latest News > Latest pregnancy news > New alcohol recommendations

New alcohol recommendations

In the news - latest advice on alcohol consumption for Mums-to-be
New government recommendations relating to the consumption of alcohol in pregnancy have been published this week in an attempt to increase public awareness of the possible dangers of drinking at this fragile time. This new advice recommends that both women trying to conceive and those who are already pregnant abstain from alcohol entirely; this replaces previous advice that consuming one or two units a week is acceptable.

While this new advice isn't based on any fresh scientific evidence, so you needn't worry if you have been indulging in the odd glass of wine, its introduction by the Department of Health is meant to clarify the situation and help to make all pregnant women aware of the risks that heavy alcohol consumption can have on their unborn child.

Research has suggested that 9% of pregnant women still regularly consume a level of alcohol that could be incredibly detrimental to the health of their baby, as when consumed by an expectant mother, a certain percentage will cross the placenta and be passed onto her developing baby.

Heavy alcohol consumption throughout pregnancy has been linked to developmental issues such as language problems and hyperactivity, symptoms known collectively as Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). While very heavy alcohol consumption poses a significant risk that the baby will be born with FAS (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome), a condition that results in abnormalities of the central nervous system, impaired language and memory skills and abnormal facial features.

Over 6,000 babies a year are born with this avoidable condition each year and it is the aim of the Department of Health to greatly reduce this number by simply asking pregnant women to abstain until their baby arrives.

Chat or Ask a Question:

If you have a question about this article or something else, visit our friendly forums & ask the AskBaby community.

Chat about new alcohol recommendations with our friendly community...

Your Comments:

We'd love to hear your comments on this article...

Login to add your comment:

Email: Password:
Not yet a member? Join thousands of other parents and parents-to-be... Sign Up Now!
Forgot your

im 7 weeks pregnant and i have totally stopped drinking any alcohol since i found has been so hard as now and again i really fancy a pint of wkd blue with ice!i will just have to wait till july then i can have as much as i please!
by MandyG 30th Nov 2009, 10:58am
I think it is very sensible advice, anything that posses a risk to the unborn baby is not worth doing and I wouldn't touch a drop whilst pregnant or breastfeeding if I am ever lucky enough to conceive.
by AuntySammy 14th May 2009, 9:44am
would you give your 6 month old an alchol drink in his/her bottle??i dont think so!!! its the same thing only its a growing baby inside you,i gave up drinking and smoking on my first and am doing it again,its nine months.surly its worth it for your baby
by jennipop 9th Apr 2009, 9:28am
There are many things our grand moms didnt know before , times have changed . Now we have ultrasound to see the baby's development, and much more equipment they even havent dreamed about. Too many researches have been made in order to help us, expecting moms not to make any mistakes while being pregnant. If our grandmoms were lucky enough to give birth to healthy kids ,thats really nice. But this is not the best thing to take a risk with. We have to take it seriously , specially with the environment we have nowadays. I wouldn't risk and drink any amount of alcohol during my pregnancy or to smoke. I used to smoke before, but as soon as i found out about my pregnancy the body rejected smoking itself, so i cant even smell tobacco now. Dear ladies, it's just 9 months of ur life when you take this great responsibility to help ur baby to develop right and to avoid any risks , so manage yourself for ur future angel, you will have enough time to enjoy smoking and drinking later. Good luck to everyone and take a very good care of urselves!!!!
by BouBou 17th Feb 2009, 9:47am
WOOOOOW, i am pregnant with my second baby and have smoked and drank thru both, its not about being alcohol dependent its about wanting to sit with your partner and enjoy a lil drink with them one small glass of wine a week will not do damage. when ma grandmother was pregnant nothin was said about drinking back then an it never hurt any of her 8 children
by leighsmummy 5th Jan 2009, 9:25am
i am on baby number 5 and have always drunk while pregnant and it has done my children no harm i think people are over reacting i dont see what harm a couple of glasses of wine a couple of times a week makes
by nicola69 1st Dec 2008, 9:27am
I think we should not be so judgemental - we are not standing in these womens shoes living their lives. Unfortnately all we can do is inform them and hope they make the right decision
by Solas 20th Oct 2008, 10:59am
I totally agree with abstaining from alcohol completely when TTC and then when pregnant, but it is a real shame that most of the women I have spoken too, do not agree. So many women these days are alcohol dependent and most of them don't seem to realise that it is the health of their unborn baby that should be their first priority...NOT their own selfish desire to consume an alcoholic drink.

It makes me so sad when women can't go without booze (most of my friends can't even give up alcohol for a week!!) - and some women still think that the odd little glass of wine wont hurt and they still think that it is acceptable to drink when they are pregnant!!!

As for TTC, i think a lot of women take their fertility for granted and they just assume they will get pregnant. Some women I know have been trying to conceive for over a year, and still they are not prepared to take a long hard look at their diet and drinking habits - I am not surprised some of them are not getting pregnant. You are what you eat and drink, and an unhealthy lifestyle will not allow a women to be host to a fertilised egg and growing baby.
by handbaglady 22nd Sep 2008, 9:47am