Q. Is it okay for me to have an occasional alcoholic drink while I’m trying to get pregnant?
A. Absolutely. There’s no reason why women (or men) can’t drink in moderation while trying to conceive. The risk to the fetus from alcohol occurs after the pregnancy has been established and once organ development begins (around the fourth week of pregnancy). After that point alcohol can severely damage the fetus and sometimes produce a terrible condition called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a whole host of problems that children born to women who drink during pregnancy can suffer. Many obstetricians tell women it’s okay to have an occasional glass of wine while pregnant, but because no one really knows how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy, it’s considered prudent to abstain.
But if you’re not pregnant yet, and not a heavy drinker or alcoholic, there’s no reason you can’t continue your normal lifestyle while you’re trying to start a family. If you usually drink a glass of wine in the evening, you can continue to do so. In fact, since trying to conceive can be stressful, if a glass of wine helps you relax it can even be beneficial. The best advice while trying to conceive is just to be smart about your eating, drinking, and exercise habits, try not to overdo it, relax and be as normal as possible. If you do a pregnancy test as soon as you miss a period, you’ll be able to cut alcohol out of your diet in plenty of time to avoid harm to your baby.