Pregnancy Pregnancy Health

Australian Mothers Told Not To Drink When Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Food Standards Australia New Zealand is telling women who are pregnant or breastfeeding not to drink alcohol. Experts suggest that infants could be harmed by as little as one or two drinks.

Expectant Tummy at the Ocean

Paul Brent, a scientist with FSANZ, has expressed concern over pregnant women who drink even rarely. Some studies have shown that harm can come from even minimal drinking habits. He says it is safer for women to abstain from drinking alcohol completely while they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Brent says, “when you’re looking at trying to have the best baby you can, it’s much safer not to drink at all.”

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one risk that comes from drinking while pregnant. An infant with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may suffer from physical, mental, and developmental impairments due to an excess of alcohol during pregnancy. Symptoms of FAS can include:

  • small birth weight
  • small head size
  • facial abnormalities
  • failure to thrive
  • poor coordination
  • poor fine motor skills

Currently, there is little to no information on exactly how much alcohol is required to cause these birth defects. Because each woman processes alcohol differently, the amount is different for each woman. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is typically related to binge drinking, however, lesser-known Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) can come from occasional or moderate drinking. Children suffering from these latter conditions may only suffer mental or emotional problems with few or none of the physical symptoms. – Summer, Staff Writer

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About the author


Summer is a mom of three, living life in the slow lane along historic Route 66. She writes, homeschools, gardens, and is still trying to learn how to knit.

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