Pregnancy

Alcohol and pregnancy

Alkohol och graviditet - engelska

Do not drink alcohol when you are pregnant. Alcohol contains substances that could harm the baby in the womb. If you find it difficult to stop drinking alcohol, you can get help.

You should also avoid alcohol if you are trying to get pregnant.
Alcohol can make it harder to get pregnant.

Self-help tips

It may feel strange not to drink alcohol if you usually do.
But it is often easier to change habits than you think.

If you have an alcohol addiction, it may be difficult to stop drinking.
But it is possible to stop. The most important thing is that you want to.

It may make it easier to stop if you keep reminding yourself that you want your baby to be as healthy as possible. Pregnancy may also curb your craving for alcohol.

What happens in your body?

Alcohol contains harmful substances.

When you drink alcohol, these harmful substances enter your bloodstream.
Your blood passes into the placenta. From the placenta, the harmful substances enter the baby’s body.

The harmful substances also enter the amniotic fluid that the baby drinks.

The more alcohol you drink and the more often you drink it, the greater the risk of harm to the baby.

The impact of alcohol

Here is what could happen if you drink alcohol when you are pregnant:

  • The risk of miscarriage or death of the baby in the womb may increase.
  • The baby does not grow properly. As a result, the baby may be smaller than it should be.
  • The baby’s brain may be damaged. This may affect the baby’s development and behaviour.

If a baby is harmed by alcohol, it is called foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

As good as possible

You may feel bad if you have drunk alcohol while pregnant.
It is common to feel some shame and guilt.

But the most important thing is not to expose your baby to more alcohol.
Think about how to make things as good as possible from now on.

When and where should I seek treatment?

Seek treatment if you need help to stop drinking alcohol.
You can contact one of these clinics:

  • A midwifery clinic (barnmorskemottagning).
  • A healthcare centre (vårdcentral).

Get help from an interpreter

You can get help from an interpreter if you do not speak Swedish. Let the clinic know you need an interpreter when you book your appointment.

Call 1177 for advice 

Call 1177 for help on what to do.

Your call will be answered by a nurse. The nurse can speak both Swedish and English. Help is sometimes available in other languages.

Call +46 771 11 77 00 if you are calling from a phone with a foreign number.

Treatment

If you find it difficult to stop drinking alcohol, you can get treatment.

There are several types of treatment.
Counselling is a common form of treatment that may help.

To the top of the page