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Alcohol and pregnancy

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Give your child the best start possible. Don’t drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Pregnant who don't drink

Foto: Helsedirektoratet

​​​​​​All the alcohol that a pregnant woman drinks is shared with the fetus. Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and transferred to the fetus via the placenta. ​​

Increased risk

All the fetal organs may be affected and cell development may be impaired. The brain is particularly vulnerable because it develops throughout the pregnancy.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirths, premature delivery or poor fetal growth. It can lead to physical, mental, behavioral and learning disabilities. Individuals that have been exposed to alcohol might have diminished intellectual capacity, the memory can be affected and they can have problems with learning.  

No safe level

An equal volume of alcohol can affect fetuses in different ways. It is likely that babies have varying degrees of vulnerability. The genetic characteristics of the baby are also a factor.

In addition, the time of exposure to alcohol is of significance, as are factors such as the mother’s age, health and lifestyle. Alcohol can harm the fetus in all phases of pregnancy. 

There is no safe amount or safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy or when planning a pregnancy. The health authorities therefore recommend total abstinence during pregnancy.