Alcohol and me, you and parents-to-be
This week #DRYMESTER is supporting the annual Alcohol Awareness Week. This year’s theme is ‘Alcohol and Me’, providing a chance for people right across the UK to get thinking about their own drinking.
There are many reasons why people drink. To celebrate and commiserate, to relax and socialise, and to help cope with life’s stresses. For many residents, alcohol is a normal part of day-to-day life.
But regularly drinking alcohol can cause a wide range of harms. Some of them can be obvious, such as when it adds to our weight or damages our health. But there are also hidden impacts – for our families, communities and society.
The risks of drinking when pregnant are particularly clear. The Chief Medical Officers for the UK advise that when you’re pregnant there’s no safe time to drink alcohol, and no safe amount, if you want to reduce the risk of harm to your baby.
But, with Christmas around the corner, it can still be hard to resist, say no or avoid it. You might feel like you’re the only person choosing not to drink.
But you’re not alone in going alcohol free. We’ve heard so many different reasons from parents-to-be who have signed up to #DRYMESTER. Here are just a few of them:
“I want the best start for my baby.”
“My baby is more important than any drink.”
“It’s worth not drinking for a year to get a happy healthy baby at the end of it.”
“I am currently going through the IVF process and want my body to be in the best possible shape for it to work.”
“I’m struggling to give up red wine so I’m trying to source a really good alcohol free one that tastes like the real thing.”
“I was unsure whether I could drink with Christmas approaching. I'm glad I know now; it' just not worth it.”
“I’ve decided to stop drinking too in support of my girlfriend. It isn’t a huge sacrifice really and it’s nice to be able to help out in some way.”
“Supporting my wife by going dry for the rest of the pregnancy.”
And it’s not just expecting mums and dads who are joining in:
“My sister is currently pregnant and I want to help raise awareness and show my support.”
“Good luck to my best friend. Supporting you through your pregnancy and will be spreading the word about #DRYMESTER too.”
“There are so many mixed messages out there but this is just making it clear. More people need to hear about it!”
Are you going alcohol free during your pregnancy, or while someone close to you is pregnant? Join other people across Greater Manchester. Sign up to #DRYMESTER and celebrate why you’re getting involved.
For generations, we’ve been given mixed messages about whether there is a safe time or amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. However, the facts themselves are quite clear.
The Chief Medical Officers for the UK advise that if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, as this can lead to long-term harm to your baby. The more you drink, the greater the risk.
#DRYMESTER is a new campaign from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. It aims to spread this correct guidance about the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and help thousands of Greater Manchester parents-to-be go alcohol free.
The #DRYMESTER campaign is appealing to future parents, and their families and friends, to sign up and help spread the word that there’s no safe time, and no safe amount of alcohol, to drink during pregnancy.
We’re also encouraging partners, families and friends to go alcohol free too, for either some or all the pregnancy. This kind of solidarity can really make a difference.
To start the ball rolling, #DRYMESTER has created a variety of materials to help those who want to join and spread the word. Sign Up now and access our Helping Parents-To-Be Go Alcohol Free pack, as well as all our #DRYMESTER resources.
If you’re worried about your drinking and think you might need help going alcohol free, contact your midwife of GP for advice. Alternatively, find out about your local alcohol service here. If you've become physically dependent, stopping drinking without support could be harmful.