Alcohol before, during and after pregnancy

There are many people in the Netherlands who like to drink a beer or a glass of wine. One person drinks in moderation, the other drinks a few glasses of alcohol per day. You will not easily see someone who is pregnant drinking alcoholic beverages, as this is not good for the progress of the pregnancy. However, before, during and after pregnancy involves risks.

Alcohol before you become pregnant

There are women who become pregnant very quickly, but there are also women who have to wait a very long time before they succeed in getting pregnant. If you want to become pregnant, it is important to know that one alcoholic drink per day can already have an effect on fertility in both men and women. In addition, the risk of miscarriage is much higher if alcohol is consumed regularly. So if you are trying to get pregnant, it is advisable not to drink a drop of alcohol during this period. If you have a lot of trouble not drinking alcohol, it is wise to know that the first few weeks of pregnancy are the most important. After your period, a new egg cell immediately starts to ripen and fertilization takes place fourteen days before your next period. Your child’s most important organs are formed in the first few weeks. This is a critical period in which all kinds of things can go wrong, especially if you regularly drink a glass of alcoholic beverage.

During the pregnancy

It is also forbidden to drink alcohol during pregnancy. The concentration of alcohol in the mother’s blood will occur in equal proportion in the baby’s tissues during pregnancy. Every glass of alcohol you drink during pregnancy affects the baby just as much. Alcohol use during pregnancy can have major consequences for the fetus, embryo and pregnancy. The more alcohol you drink during pregnancy, the greater the effects will be. Even less than one glass of alcohol per day can cause miscarriage, fetal death or premature birth. It has also been proven that it can have negative consequences on the psychomotor development of the baby. When consuming one to two glasses of alcohol per day for a longer period of time, the baby stops making breathing movements. These breathing movements are necessary for the lungs to develop properly. If you drink an average of, or even more than, six glasses of alcohol per day, the above consequences apply plus the risk of congenital defects and the development of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Alcohol during pregnancy can therefore have major consequences for the development and birth of your baby.

After birth

You should be careful with the use of alcohol not only before and during, but also after your pregnancy. Alcohol passes to the baby through breast milk. In addition, alcohol may also prevent breastfeeding from starting or not continuing properly. Of course you can drink a glass of wine while breastfeeding, but keep in mind that one glass of alcoholic drink takes about three hours for your body to break it down. For example, if you are going to a party and would like to drink more alcoholic drinks, you should make sure that you have expressed enough milk in advance so that you can provide healthy milk to your child.