New updated advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) advises women trying to conceive and those in the first three months of pregnancy not to drink any alcohol. This is a change from previous guidance which stated that mothers-to -be should not drink more than two units once or twice per week.
Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said:
"This guidance takes a precautionary approach to women drinking alcohol in pregnancy. It may be wise to avoid alcohol when planning a baby, but the fact is many pregnancies are not planned. We should reassure women that if they have had an episode of binge drinking before they found out they were pregnant, they really should not worry. It is very troubling to see women so concerned about the damage they have caused their baby they consider ending what would otherwise be a wanted pregnancy, when there’s no need for such anxiety.
“This guidance also makes clear that after the first three months, there is no evidence of harm to the baby at low levels of alcohol, so women who like to relax with a glass of wine once or twice a week should not feel guilty about doing so.”
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bpas is a charity which provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception from more than 40 centres across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org.