Study reaffirms advice to women that no level of drinking alcohol in pregnancy is safe says RCM

on 29 May 2019 Alcohol and pregnancy

Researchers have concluded that no amount of alcohol is safe to consume during pregnancy at any stage.

The research team which included experts from the University of Aberdeen have studied how expectant mothers’ consumption of alcohol affects foetal brain development.  

The international group investigated the biological changes in the brain that drive foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) using complex network theory to analyse brain signals.  Their findings are published in the journal Chaos.

Responding , the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Director for Scotland Dr Mary Ross Davie; We welcome this study which provides us with further insight into the long term effects that alcohol consumed during pregnancy can have on the brain development of the baby. 

“Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) resulting from drinking alcohol in pregnancy can have a serious and life long impact on a person’s life right into adulthood. 

“This study reaffirms the advice from midwives and the RCM to all women that no level of drinking in pregnancy is safe.

“We would advise any woman who is trying to become pregnant or who thinks they may be in the early stages of pregnancy to refrain from drinking any alcohol. If you need help or support to do this, please do speak to your GP or midwife.”

To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].


Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at