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Alternatives to alcohol in pregnancy

Dry January has become all the rage in recent years but you might be wondering what all the fuss is about if you are already avoiding alcohol in pregnancy. A response to the excesses of December combined with the tradition of New Year’s resolutions means many choose to abstain for the entire month. If you are expecting a baby you are likely to be in for the whole nine yards (or months).

The guidelines for safe alcohol limits was updated in January last year and included a revision of pregnancy recommendations. Previously it was suggested that if you had decided to reintroduce alcohol after the first trimester you should limit consumption to no more than one or two units once or twice a week. Expert opinion now advises a precautionary approach with the clear guidance that no level of alcohol in pregnancy can be considered safe.

alcohol in pregnancy

So what are the alternatives if you want to drink something more exciting than sparkling water? With a can of cola containing up to eight teaspoons of sugar, soft fizzy drink are not the healthiest choice. Try some of the teetotal tipples below to quench your thirst:

In the pub – Ironically for those with child, a ‘Virgin’ Mary is a good option. Tomato juice is a excellent source of vitamins, minerals and the antioxidant lycopene, made more delicious with the trimmings of Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, celery, lemon and a dash of tabasco if you like it spicy. Or go fruity with a spritzer of 100% fruit juice, orange, apple or pineapple mixed with soda or fizzy water.

At the bar – This is much easier now with the trend for Mocktails. If you have an obvious bump and can cope with cheeky quips from the bartender there are many virgin cocktails on offer from Margharita to Mojito.

Entertaining at home – Make up a jug of something delicious to share with your guests. Try refreshing cucumber seltzer with sparkling water, chopped cucumber, fresh mint, a little elderflower cordial plus a squeeze of lemon if desired (also helpful for morning sickness) or create a booze free Bellini by blending canned peaches in juice with fizzy water. If you are visiting friends and family and not sure what alcohol free options will be available, take coconut water (lovely with a dash of lime) or pomegranate juice (both easy to find in Supermarkets). The Feel Good brand make 100% natural drinks with no added sugar and a range of fruity combinations.

Wellness trend predictions for 2017 suggest going sober will become more prominent this year with a growth in alcohol free activities. For this month at least you should find yourself in good temperate company and with these delicious alternatives, some January abstainers might even stay with you on the wagon in Feb. Cheers!

Jayne Russell has over twenty years of experience as a pre and postnatal massage and nutritional therapist and is the founder of Nom Nom – award winning, certified organic pregnancy and baby skincare. Sign up for your free skincare guide “10 Steps to Super Healthy Baby Skin” at www.nomnomskincare.com

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