What is a safe amount to drink?


There is no known safe level of alcohol exposure during pregnancy.

There is no safe time, there is no safe amount, and there is no safe type of alcohol. Alcohol can harm a developing fetus at any point during a pregnancy, even before the pregnancy is confirmed. As 50% of Australian women experience an unplanned pregnancy, many are prenatally exposed to alcohol before the family becomes aware of the pregnancy. If you could be pregnant, or are planning a pregnancy, health professionals advise that abstinence from alcohol is safest. If you choose to drink alcohol, effective contraception is important to prevent unintentional prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcohol use during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm (early) birth, and SIDS, and can also result in FASD, which is a lifelong disability.  

The National Health and Medical Research Council advises that “maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby.

A. For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.

B. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.”

Healthy pregnancies are not the sole responsibility of women. A fathers’ alcohol consumption impacts the health of his developing baby, and partners play a strong role in supporting alcohol-free pregnancy. Ceasing alcohol use together has been proven to be the most effective way to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Follow this link to download The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.


Useful apps:

The Daybreak app by Hello Sunday Morning helps people change their relationship with alcohol.
Chat with health coaches and access a supportive community with their free app.

Mind the Bump is a free Mindfulness Meditation App to help individuals and couples support their mental and emotional wellbeing in preparation for having a baby.
Where alcohol exposure has occurred, lowering stress levels reduces the likelihood of negative outcomes for the baby.


Useful links:

The latest research-backed information on the healthiest options for you, your partner, and your baby– from Telethon Kids Institute

Questions & Answers about Alcohol Use & Pregnancy

True and False FASD Fast Facts

It’s not just Mums who need to avoid alcohol when trying for a baby

What men can do – alcohol, pregnancy and prevention of FASD

Alcohol & Breastfeeding – A Guide for Mothers from the Australian Breastfeeding Asociation

 Busting the myths on alcohol and breastfeeding 

 Feed Safe – alcohol & breastfeeding app free download

Hello Sunday Morning – helpful resources for changing your drinking behaviour

Some ideas for saying no to alcohol when you are pregnant, planning or could become pregnant.

Some women may not want to disclose they are pregnant just yet. Remember, you do not have to justify or explain why you choose not to consume alcohol. However, in social settings you may choose to say:

No, thank you, I’m not drinking tonight.
No, thank you, but a juice would be wonderful.
No, thank you. I have to drive.
I have a big day/ early meeting tomorrow so no thanks.
I’m not feeling the best so would rather not, thanks.

If people already know you’re pregnant ask those closest to you to give you support and in these situations you may choose to say:

No thanks!
I’d rather have juice, thanks.
No thanks, I’m being kind to my baby!
No thanks, when I drink alcohol so does my baby!
No thanks, not while I’m pregnant!
No thanks, my baby’s too young to drink alcohol!
No thanks, I’m celebrating being pregnant!

Check out some great alcohol-free beverage ideas here:

Finding help for alcohol and other drug difficulties

These websites provide information on the support services available in your state:

Know your Options

Information, Support & Treatment Services

Alcohol & Other Drug Treatment Services

Community Alcohol & Drug Services

Alcohol & Other Drug Services

Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco

Alcohol & Other Drug Treatment:
Aboriginal People
North West

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