Once you fall pregnant, drinking is a big no-no and many women choose to forgo drinking while breastfeeding.

For many, abstaining from alcohol does not seem to extend to the time spent trying for a child, or for the early weeks of pregnancy.

A study by Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, found that 55 per cent of women in the United states were drinking while trying to conceive and during the first four weeks of pregnancy.

The UK Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists in February 2015 changed their recommendations regarding pregnancy and alcohol, saying that women should refrain from alcohol altogether.

Victoria-based GP Dr Katie Gault said it’s best not to drink while conceiving.

“If you are planning to get pregnant, a doctor would recommend not drinking for both women and men, as sperm quality can really be affected,” Dr Gault said.

“Obviously, women should try to avoid alcohol and drugs, and take folate and pregnancy vitamins for three months prior to conception.

“Not drinking at all when trying to conceive eliminates all concerns over the baby’s health – however, the odd glass of wine isn’t going to have adverse effects.”

The concern with high levels of alcohol consumption is the potential development of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome but this would require drinking more than a bottle a day.

“For Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, you usually need to be drinking consistently ‘too much’ throughout the pregnancy,” Dr Gault said.

Deputy Clinical Director at House Call Doctor, Doctor Ryan Harvey said a moderate amount of alcohol consumption is unlikely to have dramatic results on an unborn child, but those wanting to be parents should be aware of how important the first few weeks of development truly are.

“Laboratory studies have indicated that alcohol has the potential to affect embryonic development,” Dr Harvey said.

“In fact, the first trimester of pregnancy is crucial as the foetus develops organs and a brain. According to studies, it’s during this period that alcohol may cause physical deformities and other abnormalities.

“The odd glass of wine while pregnant will not be of harm to your baby. There is little anecdotal evidence to suggest that an occasional glass of champagne does any real harm to a foetus.”

If you are planning to conceive, you and your partner should abstain from alcohol. This will reduce stress and help your body reach optimum health ahead of having a child.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.