Things have changed a lot for women who are trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding. Even five years ago, the options for women avoiding alcohol were slim. Orange juice or lemon, lime and bitters were as good as it got.
But things are dramatically different, in fact, I don't think there has ever been a better time to forgo booze. The wide range of non-alcoholic wine, beer and spirits that is available means that you don't have to miss out on your usual favourite.
This blog is based on readily available, general information only and not intended as medical advice in any way. Always consult with your healthcare professional first.
What are the effects of drinking alcohol when you are trying to conceive?
According to experts at Your Fertility, even drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can increase the time it takes to conceive. In addition to this, women who drink more than seven alcoholic drinks a week are more likely to experience fertility problems. Alcohol can also affect ovulation.
Experts advise that the safest option for women who are planning a pregnancy is to avoid alcohol altogether.
Alcohol also impacts men. Heavy drinking can reduce libido and negatively impact performance.
What are the effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy?
Gone are the days that doctors suggest a glass of stout to help with morning sickness. The research is now very clear – the safest amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy is zero.
The good news is that there is now a huge amount of choice when it comes to alcohol free drinks.
Does non-alcoholic wine contain alcohol?
Alc-free wine is a great alternative for women who are trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding. But it’s natural to feel cautious about the things on put into your body, so it’s worth having a look at the way that non-alcoholic wine is made.
Essentially, alc-free wine is made in the same way as regular wine, using the same high quality grapes. The big difference is that the alcohol is removed before bottling. This means that alc-free wine retain the character of the wine – they taste and smell like traditional wine.
There are several ways to remove the alcohol from wine including vacuum distillation, spinning cone columns and reverse osmosis.
However alc-free wines can contain up to 0.5% ABV – this is about the same level found naturally in fruit juice. However, if you prefer to avoid even a trace of alcohol there are still plenty of options.
Wine alternatives aren't referred to as non-alcoholic wine because they don't follow traditional winemaking processes. They're modern drinks made without any alcohol at all for modern connoisseurs who are open to trying something a little different.
For example, NON have taken the wine alternative market by storm with their completely delicious drinks. According to NON, each bottle is crafted much like a tisane - all natural fruit, herbs and flavours are steeped to create a combination of flavours and aromas similar to a quirky red Sparkling Shiraz, a light Pétillant Naturel or a classic dry white wine or Aperitivo, to name a few.
Is non-alcoholic wine pregnancy safe?
Kathy Fray is a senior midwife and author of the book Oh Mama, she tells me that there is nothing in alc-free wine that is toxic to pregnancy.
“Alcohol-free wine is made the same way as conventional wine up to the bottling process, at which point all or some of the alcohol is removed, so the wine does retain its health benefits,” she adds.
Should I consult my doctor before drinking non-alcoholic drinks while pregnant?
It is always a good idea to talk to your health provider because they will be able to give you advice pertinent to your situation. Your health care provider can also give you advice on other ways to stop drinking alcohol and connect you to services that can help.
The good news is that there are so many options available now there is literally something for everyone. Here are my top picks:
This 0.0% drink contains just 45 calories per serving and boasts the benefits of natural ingredients like ginger extract, blue agave and white cranberry concentrate. It is also vegan and preservative free.
Our best selling, Thomson & Scott Noughty is an alc-free sparkling wine that tastes just like French Champagne. It’s organic, vegan and only contains 17 calories per serve.
This Australian made drink is an innovative mix of flavours, that taste similar to a French Farmhouse Cider. It combines all-natural ingredients including pears, kombu, ginger, cardamom, black tea, clove, vanilla, verjus and high-quality filtered water. It's zero alcohol and gluten free.
Erdinger Alcohol-Free Wheat Beer contains high amounts of folic acid as well as vitamins b12 and polyphenols. It was designed for sports recovery, but the same properties make it ideal for pregnant and breastfeeding women.