Alcohol and Pregnancy don’t mix, there’s no news there. However, Fertility Specialist Dr Raewyn Teirney says both partners should ditch the drink when trying for a baby, and indeed throughout the pregnancy.
Alcohol And Pregnancy – Why You Should Stop Drinking Before Trying To Conceive
Trying for a baby? Or you may already be pregnant. Don’t think alcohol and pregnancy go together. For a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, it’s important for both mum and dad-to-be give up drinking at least three months before trying to start for a baby. It’s all part of smart pregnancy planning and your healthy pregnancy nutrition and diet.
Let’s look at why it’s so important.
Alcohol Can Decrease Your Chances of Conceiving A Baby Naturally
While we know for sure that alcohol and pregnancy do not go together, it’s important to give up drinking well before you start trying to conceive. Doing so will boost your chances of conceiving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. It’s one step in your ‘fertility fitness’ routine (others include a healthy diet, taking the right vitamins, and ensuring you maintain a healthy weight).
Drinking more than the recommended two standard drinks a day can negatively affect the health of both the egg and the sperm and can make it harder for you to conceive.
However, if you want to really boost your chances of conception, it’s advisable to give up drinking altogether. Sober baby-making is a lot more fun and intimate – give it a try.
Alcohol Can Lead To Weight Gain And Obesity In Both Partners
There are so many health issues associated with being obese or overweight, including the fact that your chances of conceiving a healthy baby greatly reduced. This is the case for the man in the relationship as well as the woman. Given that it takes about 12 minutes in a Spin Class to burn off one glass of bubbles, we can see how dense in empty calories alcohol is. The message is clear – stop drinking to help maintain a healthy weight. It’s important to note here that women who are already pregnant greatly reduce their chances of maintaining a healthy pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy baby (see my next point!).
Alcohol Endangers Your Unborn Baby
Drinking while pregnant is something we doctors strongly advise against. Even one alcoholic drink can affect your unborn baby. Like all liquids you drink, alcohol easily passes through the placenta to your baby. It can affect the development of your baby’s brain, spinal cord and other organs. It can also lead to more serious and sometimes fatal conditions such as miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and/or Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which is the term used to describe the neuro-developmental impairments that can present in babies whose mothers drank too much while they were pregnant. FASD can see your baby to become vulnerable to lifelong conditions including learning difficulties, mental illness and addiction.
While the first trimester is the time your baby is at greatest risk, we strongly advise women go booze-free through their entire pregnancy and also while breastfeeding if applicable. It’s great if their partners go alcohol free as well. It helps support them and makes the journey much easier for the mum-to-be!
Pregnancy Is More Enjoyable When You’re Alcohol-Free
Steering clear of alcohol during pregnancy brings a clarity and peace of mind that makes the journey even more special, for both partners. It will allow both partners to really relish those special milestones like the first ultrasound, the first kick, and your beautifully changing body. Having a hangover or being tipsy will dull the joy of the experience.
Alcohol And Pregnancy – Support To Keep You Sober
Are you or your partner struggling to say goodbye to booze? There are plenty of other ways to relax and unwind. Take a walk through a local park together. Attend a gentle couples yoga class. Sign up to a pregnancy and birth course to guide and support you both through this special time.
If you’re in a social situation, there are plenty of ways you can avoid being pressured into picking up a cocktail. If you haven’t told friends you’re pregnant yet, you could feign a “flu”, or tell people you’re both driving in separate cars to and from the event. You can also try the old trick of holding a wine glass filled with water – nobody will know the difference.
If you have announced your wonderful news, your friends and family will understand that you’re abstaining. However, your partner may still feel a bit of pressure from friends to indulge. If this happens, your partner can simply explain that they’re ‘going out in support’ for you through this special time. Alternatively, make a joke about your growing belly not fitting under the steering wheel and that your partner is now the designated driver. If peer pressure still becomes too much, you may wish to excuse yourself from the party, on the basis that the baby’s kicking is keeping you both awake and it’s time for an early night!