The question of whether or not it is safe to drink alcohol while pregnant is a common one. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. The risks associated with drinking during pregnancy can vary depending on how much you consume and when in your pregnancy you are consuming it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no known amount of alcohol that has been proven safe during any trimester of pregnancy, so abstaining from all types of alcoholic drinks throughout your entire pregnancy would be the safest option for both mother and baby.
It’s important to note that even small amounts of alcohol consumption can increase risk factors like miscarriage, stillbirths, preterm labor, low birth weight babies, fetal growth restriction and physical abnormalities in newborns, called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
These conditions can have lifelong implications for both mother and child alike, including learning disabilities such as poor memory recall or difficulty concentrating, behavioral issues, physical deformities, hearing loss, vision problem, organ damage, and more. Avoiding any type/amount/frequency of alcohol should be taken seriously by expecting mothers-to-be.
While abstinence may seem like an obvious solution here, if you do choose to consume alcoholic beverages during your first trimester, then limiting yourself strictly within 1-2 units per week should help keep risks at bay. However, please bear in mind that this will only apply if consumed before 12 weeks gestation.
Ultimately though, given just how serious these potential side effects could be, our advice would always err on the cautionary side. Avoid drinking altogether while pregnant whenever possible. This includes the occasional beer or glass of wine.
Seek professional medical advice immediately if you’re unsure about anything relating directly towards either yours and/or the baby’s health in future months ahead.