Preparing for Pregnancy
It is important to clearly understand the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and how alcohol effects the developing baby.
Alcohol can harm a developing baby as well as increase the risk of miscarriage.
Mothers preparing for pregnancy should also avoid drinking as women often become pregnant without knowing and therefore may cause harm to the growing baby. Alcohol exposure to the baby in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is particularly damaging and can cause major birth defects.
The risk to the developing baby happens as alcohol passes through the placenta. Whilst alcohol may pass through a mother's system in 24 hours, it can take up to 4 days for alcohol to pass through the developing baby's system. So, if a pregnant mother had just one drink on the weekend and another mid-week, the baby would constantly have alcohol in its system causing harm.
Risk can occur during the entire pregnancy and can cause reduced growth and brain damage, leading to learning and behavioural problems.
Avoid this risk by not drinking alcohol when planning to get pregnant and during your entire pregnancy.
Have a look at this chart to get a better understanding of what makes a standard drink.