Alcohol abuse Photo: Adam Hollingworth
Limit Alcohol Intake
Alcohol can damage both the sperm and ovum prior to conception, so consideration should be given to both you and your partner's alcohol intake if you are trying to conceive.
Also, by the time you become aware that you are pregnant, you may be in the fourth week (or more) of your pregnancy.
Alcohol has been linked to various problems during pregnancy including a higher risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature births. In addition, babies affected by alcohol may experience slower growth before and after birth, defects to the face, heart and other organs and mental disabilities (Research from CEIDA, NSW).
"There is evidence to suggest that even regular, moderate use of alcohol (two drinks, three or four times a week) can affect a baby. Heavy drinking is known to be dangerous". (CEIDA, NSW)
The National Health and Medical Research Council advise that it is best to stop drinking altogether during pregnancy. Since, your baby is at the greatest risk during the first three months of pregnancy when its limbs and organs are forming, the best way to avoid complications is to avoid alcohol altogether once you have decided to try for a family.
NEED HELP? For more information about the effects of alcohol or to get help with quitting alcohol contact your local doctor or the Dept of Health in your state for referral to the relevant agencies.
In NSW you can contact ADIS - Alcohol and Drug Information Service 24-hour counselling service on 9331 2111 (Sydney) or 1800 422 599 (from anywhere in NSW). You can also contact CEIDA (Centre for Information on Drugs and Alcohol) on (02) 9818 522.
Chat to other Essential Baby members about alcohol's affect on conception.