An analysis of international data has revealed that a staggering 75% of pregnant women in the UK drink alcohol during pregnancy.
Although there is a lot of conflicting information about whether or not alcohol should be drunk at all, current guidelines state that one to two units of alcohol once or twice a week during pregnancy is the safe limit.
Despite this, nearly a third of women in the UK reported an episode of binge drinking while pregnant. This is defined as six or more units in one occasion - something that if done regularly is more than enough to cause lasting damage to the unborn baby. After the first three months of pregnancy, this figure dropped to less than 1% which suggests that the binge could have taken place before the pregnancy was known about.
Many women will consume high levels of alcohol in the early stages of pregnancy if they are unaware they are pregnant but the first three months is the time the National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE) states that women shouldn’t be consuming any alcohol at all.
Overall rates of drinking also fell after three months of pregnancy to just over a third. 96% of those who do continue drinking throughout pregnancy say that they stick to the recommended one to two units a week.
The study also found that women who smoked while pregnant were more likely to drink during this time and that women in their 30s were less likely to drink than older mothers.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us today for help.