The alcohol pregnancy guidelines have come down in recent years due to an increase in the incidence and increased recognition of foetal alcohol syndrome or FAS.
In the UK the department of health currently recommends that pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive abstain from alcohol altogether.
If women do choose to drink during pregnancy they are advised to drink no more than 1-2 units per week and to avoid getting drunk.
The first 3 months seem to be a particularly important time to abstain completely from alcohol, as drinking during this time may increase the incidence of miscarriage.
Why should you avoid alcohol during pregnancy ?
There is lots of evidence that drinking alcohol heavily during pregnancy harms the unborn child. During pregnancy any alcohol ingested by the mother crosses the placenta and enters the baby. The baby is not able to process alcohol as effectively as the mother and so the alcohol has a greater effect on the baby and may cause toxic damage to the babies organs and developing brain and nervous system. Scientsis do not know what effect small amounts of alcohol have on the developing baby but there is very strong evidence that drink large amounts of alcohol in pregnancy is harmful to the baby. With this in mind it would seem much safer to abstain completely and to not risk the health of the baby.