Alcohol – tips for cutting out the booze

We all know that we should avoid alcohol during pregnancy, but if you haven’t lost the taste for it naturally then how do you go about cutting back?

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For some people giving up alcohol during pregnancy is as easy done as said, not least because some mums-to-be find they go off alcohol completely. Others of us might have to try a little harder though, particularly when we’re used to alcohol being part of our daily routine. Here are some of our tips for breaking the habit.

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1. Know when to go cold turkey. If you’re a regular drinker and you find that having just one drink will tempt you on to drinking several more then do the sensible thing and quit entirely, right away (the same goes for smoking or anything else that you should cut down on during pregnancy)

2. Substitute wine and beer for alcohol-free varieties. If it’s the ceremony surrounding drinking that you usually find relaxing then try popping the cork of a non-alcoholic wine bottle, glugging an ice-cold alcohol-free beer into a glass or fixing yourself an elaborate alcohol-free cocktail. Although most ‘alcohol free’ variations will have a negligible amount of alcohol in them, always check on the label to find out exactly what ‘alcohol-free’ means. If, however, you find that drinking alcohol-free versions just makes you crave a ‘real drink’ more, then avoid these altogether and opt instead for…

3. Other non-alcoholic drinks. There are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks on the market that can replace special occasion drinks by tasting sufficiently ‘special’, a particular favourite of the ThinkBaby team is Amé, a lightly sparkling fruit juice, herbal and mineral water drink which comes in wine-mimicking red, white, dry and rosé versions and has no added sugar. You could also try malt beer, sparkling grape juice, elderflower cordial with mineral water or mix one-third to one-half fruit juice – apple and blackcurrant are particularly refreshing – with lightly sparkling mineral water. But watch out for those extra calories and be careful not to replace alcohol with lots of soft drinks or sugary juices

4. If you are drinking a little then get your partner or a friend to regulate your drinking and be on hand to remind you that your two units are up, just in case you should forget

5. If you do indulge yourself with the occasional drink then sip it slowly, not only will this draw the drink out, but it’ll be easier for your body to process quickly. It also helps to combine your occasional glass with a meal to lessen the absorption of alcohol

6. If you use alcohol to unwind in the evenings and substituting non-alcoholic drinks just doesn’t cut the mustard, then try other forms of relaxation, whether that’s stretching, having a long soak in the bath, burning relaxing aromatherapy oils or candles or curling up with a good book

7. When you’re tempted to have a drink too many then remember that your baby will experience roughly the same concentration of alcohol in the blood as you do– while you may get over the hangover in the morning, he may carry the effects with him for life

8. And if you’re really having trouble cutting back to a sensible level of drink or quitting altogether then seek professional advice and help as soon as you can, your doctor will be able to help you with this and its important that they are aware if you have a drinking problem

More:

Is alcohol safe in pregnancy?

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