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Alcohol and pregnancy and breastfeeding

Alcohol and Pregnancy 

Alcohol causes defects in the developing fetus. When consumed during pregnancy, it can result in a range of negative effects on the child’s health, behaviour, and learning abilities.  Together, these effects are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and can have lifelong impacts on the child’s physical and social wellbeing. Any amount and any kind of alcohol consumed can lead to these negative effects. As a result, there is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy or for someone who is trying to become pregnant. In addition, alcohol use can compromise reproductive health and increases the risk of miscarriage, placental abnormalities, and hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. It is safest to avoid alcohol when pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

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Alcohol and Breastfeeding 

Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding can be harmful as it can pass through breast milk and expose the breastfeeding infant.  Alcohol can make it harder to produce enough milk, cause early ending of breastfeeding, and disrupt infant sleep. Given this information, it is safest not to use alcohol while breastfeeding. Having an occasional standard drink can be okay if it is planned. The alcohol content of a standard drink takes about two hours to be eliminated from the body and leave the breastmilk. 

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