There is no known safe level of alcohol use in pregnancy – so stopping completely is best.
If you are planning a pregnancy you need to know that:
Cutting down or stopping alcohol while trying to get pregnant protects your baby.
Continuing to drink, even in small amounts, when you are pregnant puts your baby at risk. The more you drink the greater the amount that is passed on to your baby.
Drinking alcohol in the first trimester can cause foetal alcohol syndrome, resulting in serious problems for the development of your baby, and all their organs. Your baby's brain develops throughout the whole pregnancy, drinking in the second and third trimesters can cause Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder, particularly as the biggest spurt of brain growth happens in the final trimester, and then continues on until the child is two years of age.
The effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy may not be seen until your child is a few years old. Children exposed alcohol during pregnancy often show poor attention and hyperactivity.
Alcohol problems are mostly caused by 'alcoholics'.
Myth: Immediate problems like motor accidents, violent assaults and accidental injury are mostly caused by moderate drinkers who occasionally overdo it.
Drinking coffee sobers you up?
Myth: Your liver is like a car with one gear. It can only work at one speed. So there is only one cure for drunkenness - time. Drinking coffee will make you wide awake and drunk. Taking a cold shower will make you cold, wet and drunk.
A 'blackout' is when you pass out from drink?
Myth: It's a type of memory loss. Your friends can recite what you did, but you can't. It is an early warning sign to cut down.
It is not safe to drink when you're pregnant?
Fact: The alcohol enters your baby's bloodstream, therefore the safest thing for your baby is not to drink at all. Regular heavy drinking can cause foetal alcohol syndrome, which causes serious developmental problems for your baby's development.
Women can't 'hold' their drink as well as men?
Fact: Men have more bodily fluids than women, so alcohol is more diluted in their systems. This goes even for women and men of the same height and build.
Alcohol causes as much damage to society as heroin?
Myth: Alcohol causes much more damage than heroin and all the other illegal drugs put together. It is a factor in 88% of public order offences, 34% of marital breakdowns and 33% of fatal road accidents.
There's nothing to do around here except drink?
Myth: Drinking is a big feature of Irish social life, but is not the only pastime. Take a minute to think of three non-drinking things you could do. It's just a matter of looking at things differently.