There is no known safe level for drinking alcohol during pregnancy , so it is best to avoid it completely to reduce potential harm to your baby.
Avoiding alcohol may be easy if, like lots of women, you go off the taste early in your pregnancy. But for some others, it can be a challenge.
Here are some tips that can help.
Try non-alcoholic versions!
Non-alcoholic drinks don’t have to be boring! There are now lots of drinks that are designed to replace alcoholic versions. You can buy non-alcoholic wine, beer and cordials that are designed to be mixed with soft drinks to resemble things like a gin and tonic. Remember, non-alcoholic versions will never taste exactly the same as the alcoholic version. But if it is an occasion, they can make a great alternative to soft drinks that you might have every day. Be aware that some drinks that claim to be ‘non-alcoholic’ can contain tiny amounts of alcohol so always check the label!
Experiment with your soft drinks
You don’t have to stick to water if you are not drinking alcohol. Why not try experiments with some soft drink options:
- Mocktails – cocktails that do not contain alcohol
- Sparkling water or tonic with ice and lemon
- Iced fruit teas
- Traditional still lemonade
- Milkshakes made with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
If you are at a bar, you could ask the bartender if they can make an alcohol-free version of your favourite cocktail!
If you're going to a party, take your own non-alcoholic drink
Unfortunately, people do not always have very exciting non-alcoholic options and the best thing to do is take your own, just in case!
Make your friends and family aware so they can help you
Tell your family and friends about the possible effects of alcohol on your baby and ask them to support you when you don't drink.
Find a sober-buddy
Quite often you will find that somebody is not drinking, maybe because they are pregnant themselves, driving home or just choose to avoid alcohol. It can help to be around other people who are not drinking, to help you feel like you are not the only one.
Find different ways of socialising
If you meet at a pub or bar, you may feel more tempted to drink alcohol out of habit or because others around you are. You might prefer to choose other ways of socialising like going to a café, meeting for dinner, or doing an activity like going for a walk or doing a yoga class.
Remind yourself why you are doing this
It can be easy to get frustrated when making changes to your lifestyle during pregnancy. But it can help to remind yourself why you are doing this – for the health of your baby. There is no known safe level of alcohol to have during pregnancy. So by stopping drinking , you are taking a step to making sure your baby is healthy and safe.