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by Katie Hodgkins

Alcohol Awareness Week 2019: Facts For Parents

This week is Alcohol Awareness Week 2019.

This week is supported by organisations in order to raise awareness of the facts surrounding alcohol; how to keep ourselves safe and healthy, whilst enjoying alcohol within safe limits.

Here we’ve taken a look at the facts about alcohol that are relevant to us as mummies & daddies.

Drinking during pregnancy… What is the advice?

The advice is now to not drink any alcohol during pregnancy as there is no proven ‘safe’ amount. Even small amounts are now being linked to complications with babies such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, miscarriage and premature birth, so it just isn’t worth the risk!

Unfortunately, due to residual attitudes such as ‘we were told one or two is fine in the past, so this advice is nonsense’, some people choose to disregard this. However, we must point out that the advice has changed for a reason – improved research, new findings, advances in medical technology etc mean that medical advice will improve and adapt with time.

Read more about alcohol, pregnancy and the risks on the NHS website here.

Can I drink alcohol if I am breastfeeding?

Pump and dump is a thing of the past, ladies! I’m sure many of you will be pleased to hear this! This is because the amount of alcohol that passes through into our breastmilk is actually very, very minimal – sometimes described as like a shot glass of alcohol thrown into an Olympic sized swimming pool! If you can safely hold your baby, you can safely breastfeed.

Read more about this in our article here.

How old can a child be when they’re legally allowed to drink?

Many people are unaware of the laws surrounding the legal age when someone can have an alcoholic drink. You may be really shocked to learn that…

  • A child can legally have an alcoholic drink at home or on a private premises from the age of FIVE to sixteen!
  • It’s legal for an adult to purchase alcohol for someone who is 16 or over if they’re eating a meal together at a licensed premises.

It goes without saying that we’d never encourage parents to give their children alcohol this young, but it’s an interesting fact to learn!

Our advice would be to use your common sense when introducing alcohol; it’s important to develop a positive and sensible attitude about alcohol in your children, but at the same time making it a taboo may add to the excitement and ‘mystery’, which can potentially lead to misuse. It’s down to you to decide how you go about it!

Alcohol Abuse: What Are The Risks?

Abusing alcohol comes with many serious risks; as parents, we need to look after ourselves so that we can take the best possible care of our children! It’s important to be aware of the risks of alcohol abuse – we’re advised to not drink more than 14 units per week, and to spread our units out as much as we can rather than binge drinking.

  • Alcohol poisoning which can cause coma and even death.
  • Increased risk of accident and injury.
  • Increased risk of violence and antisocial behaviour.
  • Risk of unsafe sex leading to STDs and unplanned pregnancy.
  • Losing valuables.
  • Putting your job at risk leading to financial issues, losing relationships, and homelessness.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Stroke.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Liver disease.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Mouth, head and neck cancer.
  • Breast cancer.
  • Bowel cancer.
  • Depression.
  • Dementia.
  • Sexual function problems.
  • Infertility.

Where can I seek support for an alcohol addiction?

If you feel that you’ve developed a dependency on alcohol, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and that there is lots of valuable support that you can access!

The NHS website has an excellent resource detailing the treatment pathways and resources that you can find in the UK here.

Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx

Katie Hodgkins Image
I'm Katie, and I'm a mama, wife, and freelance content creator for Bump, Baby & You. I also help to run our thriving online community over in our Facebook support group, as well as volunteering for my local branch of the National Childbirth Trust. I'm a busy bee and enjoy keeping active, cooking, writing, and fun days out with my little family. My special topics of interest are... autism (as me and my son are both autistic), science, all things parenting and pregnancy related, and The Handmaids Tale!
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