Tips for an alcohol-free pregnancy
Some women find it hard to give up alcohol for nine months (and for the time when they are planning to become pregnant), especially if they drink regularly or everyone around them is drinking. You may feel under pressure to drink because other people expect you to or because you don’t want people to guess that you’re pregnant.
The following advice will help you to have an alcohol-free pregnancy:
- Plan ahead how you will manage temptation and pressure to drink from other people, if you think it will be hard to stick to your decision
- Have a good support network around you to help you during your pregnancy – explain your reasons for not drinking so that your friends and family can support you.
- Ask your partner to stop or cut down on their drinking, particularly if you are still trying to conceive
- If you find it hard to stop drinking, talk to your midwife, GP or local alcohol service. See our section Where to get help for information about services
- If a lot of your time was previously spent socialising and drinking, think about other hobbies or activities that you might enjoy away from alcohol. You can also meet your friends at a cafe rather than a bar
- If you are going out when pregnant then choose fruit juices or non-alcohol alternatives
What should I do if I’m planning a family?
If you are planning to become pregnant, giving up alcohol while you are trying to conceive (get pregnant) as well as during the pregnancy will avoid any possible risk to your baby.
Talk to your GP, midwife or obstetrician, if you have questions or worries about alcohol and pregnancy
How partners, friends and family can help
- Reduce your drinking or give up for a time.
If your partner or loved one is pregnant, avoiding alcohol can be a great way to support her and make it easier for her to stay alcohol free. Find new routines and activities so you can spend time together away from alcohol.
- Avoid pressure. Never pressurise someone into taking a drink or make a comment about someone refusing a drink. In our drinking culture, it can be hard for women to resist this pressure, especially if they aren’t ready to tell people about their pregnancy.
- Make social events easier. If you’re hosting a social event, have a wide variety of alcohol-free drinks available, and be discreet in the way you offer drinks to avoid people commenting on a choice of drink.
- Be supportive. While being pregnant is a great reason to make healthy lifestyle choices, it’s not always easy. Avoid criticising if your loved one finds it hard and instead focus on trying to find practical ways to help.