Avoiding alcohol - Better Lives Healthy Futures

Avoiding alcohol

Keep you and your baby safe during pregnancy by avoiding alcohol.
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Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of harm to your baby. There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, so the safest approach is to avoid alcohol altogether to minimise any risk to your baby.

If a person does drink alcohol during pregnancy, the alcohol will pass through their blood to the baby through the placenta. Drinking a lot of alcohol in pregnancy can sometimes cause mental and physical problems in the baby. This is called foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

Foetal alcohol syndrome is completely avoidable if you don’t drink during pregnancy. Try not to worry if you have been drinking alcohol and didn’t know you are pregnant. The risk of harm to the baby is likely to be low. The important thing is to stop drinking as soon as possible.

Drinking heavily during pregnancy can also increase the risk of:

The more you drink, the more your baby will be affected and the less healthy your baby will be.

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Further information

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder

NHS page for all the facts.

National Organisation for FASD

Working together to reduce the risk of developing Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) and increasing awareness of the risks.


Tommy’s is a pregnancy charity working towards making the UK the safest place in the world to have a baby. They provide information on a range of pregnancy related topics including avoiding alcohol in pregnancy and Foetal alcohol syndrome.


A national alcohol website and helpline. If you're worried about your own or someone else's drinking, call this free helpline on 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9.00am to 8.00pm, weekends 11.00am to 4.00pm).

We Are With You

A UK-wide treatment agency that helps individuals, families and communities manage the effects of alcohol and drug misuse.

Alcoholics Anonymous

A free self-help group. They offer email, telephone and support group meetings.