Alcohol & Pregnancy
The Brewers Association acknowledges that there is currently no consensus on levels of safe alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and supports current Government advice that the safest option is not to drink alcohol. However, we encourage women to discuss these matters with their primary care physicians and support targeted interventions.
Where should women get advice about alcohol and pregnancy?
The best advice for women around the risks of consuming beer while pregnant is from their doctor.
Alcohol consumption is a matter of individual choice for informed adults. Women are best placed to get advice from their doctors and judge their own personal circumstances around consuming alcohol.
The Brewers Association supports proposals that more education of health professionals, greater access to pre-natal care particularly in regional and remote locations, and specific interventions by health professionals in respect to alcohol consumption and pregnancy is warranted.
Pregnancy messages on beer products
The primary source for advice for pregnant women about the risks of consuming alcohol should be from their doctor.
Pregnancy advisory labels will only ever act as a prompt to remind people of the advice received or a reminder to seek further information.
The beer industry is committed to placing pregnancy advisory labels on beer products. These labels, either in the form of words – it is safest not to drink while pregnant - or pictogram, can be found on our member’s products in licensed premises across both Australia and New Zealand.
Incidence of FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)
While the absolute numbers of FASD affected children remain very low, the Brewers’ Association believes that any incidence of this preventable disorder is unacceptable. FASD is found in some children born to women who are either dependent on, or abuse, alcohol during pregnancy.
The Brewers Association is of the view that a multifaceted and targeted approach from governments and health professionals, with support from industry where appropriate, is required to reduce the prevalence of FASD.
Should pregnant women or women trying to conceive drink alcohol?
Given the uncertainty from available research as to whether there is a safe level to drink alcohol while pregnant, the Brewers Association agrees with the current conservative approach for pregnant women or for those trying to conceive that the safest option is not to drink alcohol, while acknowledging that the risks from low-level drinking are likely to be low.