What are the risks of drinking during pregnancy?The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol states that: Maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby. For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is also the safest option.
Drinking while pregnant increases the risk of:
- premature labour and low birth weight of the baby
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
Why alcohol and pregnancy don’t mixWhen you drink, alcohol passes into your blood stream and is transported throughout the body. This does not change when you’re pregnant. The alcohol you drink is transported through your body, including the placenta, affecting the growth development of your baby.
Information in this section has been drawn and adapted from the following sources:
- Australian Drug Foundation, 2012, Pregnancy, alcohol and other drugs, ADF, Melbourne. Available from: http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/attachments/190_FS_pregnancy2012.pdf
- Australian Drug Foundation, 2014, Pregnancy, breast feeding and alcohol, ADF, Melbourne. Available from: http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/attachments/article/1702/FS_PregnancyBreastfeedingAlcohol_Dec2014.pdf
- Callinan S, Room R, 2012, Alcohol consumption during pregnancy: results from the 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. FARE, Canberra.
- National Health and Medical Research Council, 2009, Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. NHMRC, Canberra. Available from: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf