Supporting alcohol-free pregnancies

Partners, friends and families play an important role in supporting their loved one’s decision to not drink during pregnancy.

It’s important that partners, friends and family members offer support and encouragement, and keep in mind she is doing this for the whole family.

Ways to support alcohol free pregnancies

The ideal way to support your partner is by joining them in going alcohol-free. Research tells us women are more likely to not drink during pregnancy if their partner or close support people have stopped drinking too.1,2Take this opportunity to consider how your own drinking habits might be impacting your health.

Let your partner know that you support them in their decision to not drink alcohol.1,2 Research tells us women are more likely to not drink alcohol during pregnancy if their partner encouraged them to stop or cut back.

Women tell us being offered alcohol when they’re pregnant makes it difficult to say no. Support pregnant women to not drink alcohol by offering alcohol-free alternatives, both at home and in social situations.

While many people know about the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, some people don’t know, or might be unsure. Support pregnant women by sharing information with family and friends that there’s no safe amount, time or type of alcohol to drink during pregnancy.

For some people, stopping drinking can be difficult. It might not necessarily be the alcohol they are struggling to part with, but rather the fear of missing out on social occasions and what it represents for their role and identity within their family and among friends. 3,4

Drinking alcohol can also be a way for some people to cope with difficult life circumstances. Let your partner know you are there to support them. If they have any questions or are having trouble stopping drinking, encourage them to talk to their doctor, midwife, or obstetrician. The Alcohol and Drug Support Line can also support both you and your partner.

Some women find it difficult to abstain from alcohol when everyone around them is drinking.Try organising social occasions or gatherings where alcohol is less common, such as a breakfast instead of dinner.

Pregnancy can be a time of enormous pressure and scrutiny for women. Alcohol is used by some people as a form of relaxation after a stressful day or to deal with other things in their life. Support women to find healthier alternatives to managing stress and promoting relaxation, such as taking a walk, having a bath, or practising mindfulness.

Respect the choices women make to help keep themselves and their babies healthy. Peer pressure to drink alcohol is commonly reported by pregnant women3 – if a woman (or any person) refuses an offer for a drink, politely accept and support their decision and don’t pressure or judge them. Better yet, join them in not drinking. 

Need support or advice?

The Alcohol and Drug Support Line is a confidential, non-judgemental telephone counselling, information and referral service, that can support to you or your partner. 

The phone service is free of charge and available 24/7 by calling (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 (toll-free for country callers).

Live Chat is also free of charge and available for Western Australian during select hours.

  1. Peadon, E., Payne, J., Henley, N., D’Antoine, H., Bartu, A., O’Leary, C., Bower, C., & Elliot, E. Attitudes and behaviour predict women’s intention to drink alcohol during pregnancy: the challenge for health professionals. 2011. BMC Public HealthHealth, 11(584).
  2. Crawford-Williams, F., Fielder, A., Mikocka-Walus, A., & Estermann, A., & Steen, M. A public health intervention to change knowledge, attitudes and behaviour regarding alcohol consumption in pregnancy. 2016. Evidence Based Midwifery, 14(1), 4-10.
  3. Kantar Public. Formative Research Alcohol and Pregnancy. 2020. Mental Health Commission, Perth WA.
  4. Holland, K., McCallum, K., & Blood, W. Conversations about alcohol and pregnancy. 2015. Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Canberra.

Page last updated27 May 2023