Drinking when pregnant – how much do mums actually drink?

There's lots of confusion around this topic, with mixed advice from the experts. So when it comes down to it, just what are our honest drinking habits during pregnancy

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Drinking when you’re pregnant is a difficult subject. Some mums-to-be follow the NICE guidelines and have the occasional small tipple once they’re past the first trimester.

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Others follow the latest advice from the Chief Medical Officers and avoid alcohol completely. Others are baffled by the NHS recommendations, which say don’t drink but if you do, only have 1 or 2 drinks once or twice a week. 

Unclear? You could say so. So what do mums actually do?

How much do our mums drink when pregnant?

MadeForMums asked more than 1,100 mums about their drinking habits when they were pregnant.

Here’s the full breakdown:

  • 56% didn’t drink at all during pregnancy
  • 14% drank 1 to 3 times throughout pregnancy 
  • 11% stopped drinking as soon as they found out they were pregnant 
  • 6% drank 4 to 8 times during pregnancy 
  • 4% drank about once a week  
  • 3% drank a couple of times a month 
  • 3% drank once a month 

We also raised this topic on Facebook, asking our mums to share what they did regarding drinking when pregnant. Here’s what they told us.

The ‘yes until I realised I was pregnant’ mums

“With my son I did drink in the early days before I found out but the minute I knew, I didn’t,” says Samantha L. “Since having my son (8) I hardly drink so I didn’t have any while pregnant with my daughter.”

“Unknowingly I was drinking a bottle of rum every weekend (it was wedding season) ? ? As soon as I found out, nooo!”

“Some Guinness for iron, and a glass of champagne for baby shower! But then again it took me months to know I was pregnant so I also partied hard for many many months until I knew!” says Torrie B. “What a healthy happy 2 year old son I have now!”

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The ‘no way’ mums 

There are some strong views amongst the mums who don’t want to touch any alcohol. 

Donna O says: “No. It’s only 9 months so for me not a big deal. And as both my children were planned I stopped drinking a few months before each was conceived as well.”

“Nope, not a drop,” agrees Karen M. “It’s selfish to drink and knowingly be pregnant! If you can’t give up alcohol for 40 weeks then how will you make sacrifices for your child for the next 18 years!” 

Donna K is equally forthright. “Definitely not. If you can’t go 9 months without alcohol then you aren’t ready to be a parent!” 

The ‘every now and then’ mums

‘Yes, after 12 weeks both times – one small glass most weeks” says Laura R.

And Emily L says: “Odd glass here and there to be sociable, no big deal.”

“Not first time round but craved Top Deck [shandy] this time so the odd glass of Bass shandy went down a treat ? ? ” says Mary G. “Then one odd glass over Christmas while breastfeeding.” 

The verdict

Overall, we have to say, most of our mums told us they didn’t drink when pregnant. But there was also a lot of feeling that people shouldn’t be so judgemental about others when it comes to drinking during pregnancy.

Karen M says: “I take umbrage at the media trying to dictate to women what they should and shouldn’t do during pregnancy.

“Obviously some information is educational and for the good health of the child but when they chop and change their mind every fortnight about what is ‘acceptable’ or healthy I just lose interest.”

And one of our mums even tells us she was advised to drink while pregnant by a healthcare professional:

“Believe it or not but I was overdue with my first child and my midwife actually said 3 things to have a go with and that was a hot bath, RED WINE and an early night with my husband,” says Laura W.

What do you think?

Did you or would you drink when pregnant? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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