Can you drink Non-Alcoholic Drinks if you are pregnant?
Not drinking alcohol when you are pregnant is a given, but when it comes to Non-Alcoholic drinks not everyone is sure, so we thought we would elaborate a bit on the topic.
To start out with some rather sobering stats: South Africa has the highest prevalence of FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) in the world! A deploring statistic to hold the world title for... It's so bad that the incidents of FASD in South Africa are 14x higher than the global average!
The effects of pre-natal alcohol exposure have lifelong consequences with a broad range of physical, mental and behavioural disorders in children. The effects of alcohol on an unborn child are dire and can be caused just by light to moderate drinking.
With the above as context the general consensus amongst experts is that no alcohol is safe to drink when you are pregnant. Zero Drinks wholeheartedly support this, no risk is warranted when it impacts a child's life!
What about Non-Alcoholic drinks then?
For a drink to classify as Non-Alcoholic it needs to have 0.5% or less ABV (Alcohol by Volume). As an example to compare against, the average traditional Wine contains about 12% ABV, so 0.5% is a minuscule amount and some food & juices contain a similar amount of alcohol in them i.e. a ripe banana or orange juice to name but a few.
A study was conducted in the US on Non-Alcoholic drinks and it found that there were a few brands where the alcohol content was a bit higher than presented on the label, which obviously raised a few eyebrows amongst experts advising on the topic. As we are not aware of a study testing the alcohol content of Non-Alcoholic drinks available to the South African market, we would like to err on the side of caution and recommend drinking alcohol-free options (0.0% ABV) if you are pregnant.
Ok, so what is available to drink then?
The upside is we have an amazing variety of alcohol-free drinks available across Beers, Distilled Spirits, sparkling & non-sparkling Grape Juices, Tonics, Sodas & Waters which are all perfectly safe to drink if you are pregnant. The majority of our drinks are low on sugar and made with 100% natural ingredients, so not only are they great alcohol-free drinks, they are also healthy for you and your baby!
As a point of caution, note that the term Non-Alcoholic and Alcohol-Free are used interchangeably due to varying descriptions or classifications.
Should you have any concerns or questions regarding this topic, please take the time to do some research of your own and/or consult your medical practitioner for advice.