The new guidelines have been published for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and now reflect Scotland’s recommendations for pregnant women to abstain from alcohol consumption.
The previous guidelines, which were first published in 1995, suggested a certain level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy was safe.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the previous recommendations said pregnant women who wished to drink were advised to “limit themselves to no more than one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week and should not get drunk.”
Commenting on the new guidelines, the Royal College of Midwives Director for England, Jacque Gerrard said: “The RCM welcomes the Chief Medical Officer’s review of alcohol guidance for women during pregnancy. We particularly welcome the clarity of this reviewed advice.
“The RCM has consistently advised women to abstain from drinking alcohol when pregnant or if trying to conceive. Our message has remained the same – that there is no evidence that any level of consumption is safe for the growing baby.
“Drinking around conception and during the first three months of pregnancy may also increase the chance of having a miscarriage.
“Providing pregnant women with more support and up-to-date information is paramount and advising women on the potential consequences of alcohol consumption and smoking during pregnancy should be of utmost importance to all midwives, GP’s and maternity support workers.”
Read the full guidelines on the Government website here.
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