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.