The "Pregnant Pause" is those 9 months of pregnancy when you "pause" from drinking alcohol. (It is also advised by some that women trying to conceive should also consider avoiding alcohol, as the baby is most vulnerable during the early weeks.)
But, if you are pregnant, have been drinking and have come across this website and are now in state of panic:
1. To be completely sure your baby is not exposed to any further potential harm, it is best that you do not drink any more alcohol for the remainder of your pregnancy. Remember that the first 10 days post ovulation the foetus is generally safe as the placental maternal connection has not yet been established. The risk commences once the placental blood flow commences and the foetus is connected to the mother.
2. Stop Worrying - stress is also harmful for your baby - and you. Please speak with your midwife or GP about any concerns you may have, or call our helpline.
3. What to do after Baby arrives….If you have any concerns after your baby is born about any aspect of their health or development, please speak to your health visitor or GP; they are there to help, advise and support you.
"But my mum says it's a new syndrome just invented, not heard of when she was carrying me…"
References to the potential dangers of drinking whilst pregnant can be found in the Bible, in other ancient writings and in the observations of doctors in 19th Century London. In the 1950s and 1960s medical research led in 1968 to the French identifying the disorders, with doctors in the USA in 1973 calling it "FAS" (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome). Pregnant women in the USA have been advised not to drink since the 1980s and the same advice is now given in many countries including France, Canada, New Zealand and Germany.
"But surely I can drink in the last 3 months of my pregnancy; it is safe then."
The human brain continues to develop right until - and after - birth. The brain and central nervous system are vulnerable during the last 3 months as they continue to grow and mature.
"But FASD only affects children born to alcoholics. Small amounts are okay."
Research shows that binges and constant low level exposure is also potentially harmful. When you drink, so does your baby. It takes approximately one hour for your body to process each unit of alcohol; it takes 3 times as long for the alcohol to pass round the system of the baby in the womb.
"But drinking helps me relax and stress is bad as well."
Get your partner, if you have one, and friends to help you find other ways to relax and not to drink. For ideas on non-alcoholic drinks, contact our partner, Fruto del Espiritu. For more ideas on how to relax in pregnancy, contact us.
Everyone at The FASD Trust wishes you a happy and healthy pregnancy!