Ways To Cut Down Or Cut Out Alcohol Before Getting Pregnant
Drinking socially has been an integral part of Irish culture for centuries. Moderate social drinking can be good fun and an enjoyable way to socialise. There are times, however, when cutting out alcohol from your lifestyle can be a good idea. One of these times is if you are hoping to become pregnant.
That said, it is highly recommended to cleanse your system from time to time, regardless of wishing to become pregnant or not. Of course, it can also happen that you were not actively planning to become pregnant, and you discover that you are. If this happens you need to stop drinking alcohol immediately.
1. Do I Need To Cut Out Alcohol Before Getting Pregnant Or Even When Pregnant?
2. Alcohol And Conception – Will Drinking Affect My Chances Of Conceiving?
Once you become pregnant remember that alcohol crosses the placenta, where baby is growing with lots of her parts not yet strong, or developed enough to cope with the effects of alcohol, in the way a fully grown adult can. Alcohol is also a serious risk factor when it comes to miscarriage.
3. Quitting Before Conception Eliminates The Risk Of You Drinking Before You Can Take A Pregnancy Test
4. Alcohol Inhibits Nutrients Being Broken Down
These nutrients need to be broken down into usable molecules, but the intake of alcohol decreases the secretion of your digestive enzymes. Additionally it can damage the lining of your intestines and stomach, which in turn hinders the transport of some of the nutrients into your blood.
On top of this, these type of nutritional deficiencies can lead to further issues with absorption, such as your ability to absorb folic acid, which is so important.
For more information on this subject read this excellent piece.
5. Here Is Some Helpful Advice To Get You Started
Understand your relationship with alcohol – do you see alcohol as a friend, as a support mechanism or as a necessity in some way? Only you know the truth about your feelings towards it. This is one of the most important steps in stopping. As once you understand, you can find the best way to re-establish a relationship, with different boundaries.
Replace alcohol with something healthy and enjoyable – at the beginning it may seem strange to go for a walk instead of heading to the pub, but once you feel the benefits you will find it normal. Whatever you choose as a replacement, make sure you like it and it is healthy, or at least not unhealthy. The reason to replace is so that the reward system in your brain doesn’t feel deprived. The replacement could be a new hobby that you’ve wanted to do for a while but haven’t got around to doing.
It may be easier to avoid situations which involve alcohol – everyone is different, and some people who have stopped drinking can happily sit in a pub with others drinking alcohol. However for others this may represent a strong trigger that they find hard to resist.
Be patient with yourself – if for some reason you are tempted don’t beat yourself up over it. Start again and remind yourself why you are doing it.
Visualise your baby – visualisation is a powerful technique. If you don’t consider yourself a visual person than imagine instead. The more often you can see or imagine being pregnant with a beautiful healthy baby, the stronger your motivation will become.
Consider relaxation or yoga – yoga and relaxation techniques have helped many people, and maybe they can work for you. They can help you feel more centred in yourself, less stressed and healthier.
Hypnotherapy – is a choice that works also for quite a lot of people. Essentially the therapist will access your subconscious, with your co-operation, and plant the benefits of not drinking. When it works it can make the process of quitting easier.
Talk to your doctor – it can be a good idea to talk to your doctor, explaining your plans and to get his or her medical help.
Whatever route you take, remember that your body is going to be the host for a new human life, once you become pregnant. This is a wonderful gift, but also a big responsibility. All of your health choices can benefit your son or daughter, there is no present more precious than this.
Midwife sonographer facilitated
Consultant Led, Centre of Medical Excellence
All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.
This website was formerly Merrion Fetal Health. The clinic has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Merrion Ultrasound.