Article: Alcohol-Free Encouragement & Support
Alcohol-Free Encouragement & Support
While avoiding alcohol during pregnancy may seem like a simple action to some, it’s not always that easy for everyone. Having support and resources are an important part of an alcohol-free pregnancy.
How to Offer Support to Someone Who is Pregnant
When pregnant people have support from loved ones (especially from their partners), they are less likely to drink alcohol throughout their pregnancy.1 Here are some ways you can offer support2:
- Choose to quit or cut down your own drinking, especially when you’re with them.
- Make zero-proof drinks without alcohol to enjoy together. Going to a social event? Bring some alcohol-free options with you.
- Talk with family and friends about the benefits of alcohol-free pregnancies and why it’s important to be supportive of the person’s choice not to drink.
Always respect a person’s choice not to drink alcohol, whether they’re pregnant or not. Don’t pressure someone to drink or make them explain why they’re not drinking.
The science is very clear that drinking alcohol while pregnant is unsafe; it can cause birth defects and lifelong disabilities.3-5 However, there is not enough research yet to say if the father’s alcohol use can also be unsafe. Even so, drinking less or completely giving up alcohol can be a healthy choice for men. There are many health benefits linked with drinking less alcohol. Also, this is a way to be supportive of their partner choosing an alcohol-free pregnancy.
1 van der Wulp NY, Hoving C, de Vries H. Partner’s influences and other correlates of prenatal alcohol use. Matern Child Health J. 2015;19(4):908-916.
2 Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. Alcohol, pregnancy and partner support. https://bccewh.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/FASD-Sheet-6_Alcohol-Pregnancy-Partner-Support-Dec-6.pdf
3 May PA et al. Maternal alcohol consumption producing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD): quantity, frequency, and timing of drinking. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2013; 133(2): 502-512.
4 Glass L, Mattson SN. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A Case Study. J Pediatr Neuropsychol. 2017;3(2):114-135.
5 Feldman HS, et al. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Patterns and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects and Growth Deficiencies: A Prospective Study. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2012;36(4):670-676.