Can I still have a glass of wine if I'm expecting?
Does drinking effect my chances of conceiving? Does alcohol effect my breast milk? There are many questions regarding alcohol and pregnancy and sometimes you will receive twice as many answers. Every woman is different so what's recommended for one person may not be suitable for another. But there are some facts you should base you decisions on.
The amount of alcohol you consume can adversely effect your fertility and ability to conceive. The most you should have is one or two units of alcohol twice a week. If you can have less than this even better. Excessive drinking and in particular binge drinking can significantly reduce your chances of becoming pregnant.
Alcohol During Pregnancy
All alcohol a pregnant woman drinks can effect the baby she is carrying. The alcohol passes directly through the placenta from conception right through till birth. One or two units twice a week is highly unlikely to have any impact on the baby so you can still enjoy the occasional glass of wine. However, any more than this and in particular excessive drinking can seriously affect the baby’s development. Substantial alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause a variety of problems for the baby including physical and mental deficiencies. It is also a common cause of women having miscarriages. It simply isn't worth the risk.
Alcohol and Breastfeeding
Alcohol is not as dangerous during breastfeeding as it is during pregnancy. You cannot cause your baby serious harm via the milk you give him/her. However, small levels of the alcohol you consume will pass into your breast milk. This can change the taste of your milk and as a result your baby may not want to feed. In some instances it can also effect your baby's ability to digest the milk. To be safe you should have no more than the standard recommended daily allowance for a woman which is two or three units of alcohol each day.
The Final Thought
Alcohol is a drug, plain and simple. It can have a serious effect on an adult but a much greater effect on an unborn child. Like most things in life, moderation is the key. Obviously it's best if you stop drinking altogether. But for most people this isn't realistic. However, as long as you limit follow the basic guideline above you can get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby and still enjoy the occasional glass of Chardonnay.
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