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 is present in the mother’s bloodstream.

Australian guidelines: Reducing the health risks

Guideline 3 of the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol recommends that:

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding 

  • To prevent harm from alcohol to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol.
  • For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby.

Alcohol and pregnancy resources