Alcohol and pregnancy
During pregnancy, alcohol can pass through the placenta and affect the growth and development of the unborn child.
Alcohol also crosses over into breast milk. The amount of alcohol the baby receives is approximately the same level as what is present in the mother’s bloodstream.
Australian guidelines: reducing the health risks
Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol – Guideline 4 advises:
Pregnancy and breastfeeding – Maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby.
For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.
For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.
Alcohol and pregnancy resources
- Alcohol – effects on unborn children
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: a guide for midwives (PDF 337KB)
- Telethon Kids Institute alcohol, pregnancy and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder resources (fact sheet, wallet card and resource for health professionals)
- Alcohol and Breastfeeding - Australian Breastfeeding Association