So, we’re not daft, we know your first reaction to that title probably involved raised eyebrows and possibly even expletives, but just hear us out.
We’re about to give you 5 reasons to consider alcohol-free #NOments this Christmas and New Year’s, whether you’re pregnant or simply looking to forge healthy habits.
Maintaining a healthy pregnancy
This is a big one, and the festive season might be a tough time if you’re pregnant. However, as you’ve hopefully been told by your healthcare professionals, there’s no known safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy (at any stage), and even low-level drinking can harm your unborn baby.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with a range of adverse health effects, from miscarriages and stillbirth, to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and premature birth. In fact, alcohol is more harmful to a fetus than heroin.
It’s also worth remembering that more babies are conceived during this time of year than any other, so ensuring that you’re not accidentally harming a pregnancy that you’re not yet aware of can be important too!
You can learn more about the effects of alcohol use in pregnancy by clicking here. If you’ve already drank alcohol during pregnancy, don’t panic, you can find information and resources here
Make it one to remember
This year (fingers crossed) most of us will be able to see the ones we love, and after an awfully long time deliberately putting distance between you and them, why would you want to forget any of this year’s celebrations?
This year, more than any other, it might be worth placing a little more focus on memory making, not memory impairing!
If you’re hosting, make sure you have a variety of alcohol-free alternatives. You could create ‘Hangover-free zone’ signs for your non-alcoholic drinks options?
Indulge differently, not less
We know a lot of the Christmas and New Year’s festivities are about indulgence, but it’s possible to treat yourself without alcohol. We’re not for a second suggesting that any of us should indulge less, we’ve all earned a few days of judgement-free enjoyment.
However, what if we simply redirected ourselves to things other than alcohol? Like the chocolate orange that your nan gets you every year that sits neglected until you suddenly remember its existence a month later, or the cocktail shaker you were bought; that could be your new mocktail toolkit!
Trust us, you’ll thank yourself. By learning to direct your indulgences differently, you’ll form healthy habits that’ll contribute to your overall wellbeing and help ensure healthy pregnancies now and in the future.
Check out this recipe for a delicious Passionfruit Nojito from our Have Your NOments campaign!
Get a head-start on your resolutions (or Dry January)
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to enjoy more #NOments as part of Dry January, and drink less, consider whether you want to simply go cold turkey in January, or whether you might have an easier time sticking to that particular resolution if you begin reducing your intake now.
This way, you’ll experience a much less stark change when January rolls around!
If you’re on the fence about whether Dry January is for you, maybe consider it as a time to act in solidarity with a pregnant friend or loved one, helping them stay dry throughout their pregnancy. You might even be able to use it as an opportunity to raise money for your favourite charity!
Why not post on your social media using the #NOments and let everyone know that you’ll be drinking less or going alcohol free this festive season? You could save yourself a lot of repeat conversations.
Set a good example and offer support
As you gather with your friends and family over the festive season, it’s important to remember that people younger than you might be watching you drink (or not!). If you show the next generation it’s ok to have #NOments, they will be better prepared to make good choices later in their own lives, and especially when it’s their time to plan a family should they chose to do so.
You can also choose not to drink over the festive season to support a friend or loved one who’s pregnant!
You can learn more about enjoying #NOments as well as reality TV star and fitness entrepreneur Louise Thompson’s journey with alcohol before her pregnancy by clicking here.