Skip to main content

Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Alcohol and smoking


The safest option for you is not to drink alcohol. The risk of harm to your unborn baby is highest if you consume large amounts of alcohol frequently during your pregnancy. The risk of harm to unborn babies is likely to be low if only small amounts of alcohol were consumed before a mother knew she was pregnant or during pregnancy.

Advice for breastfeeding

The safest option is not to drink alcohol. You should avoid alcohol in the first month after birth until breastfeeding is well established.

After that:

  • alcohol intake should be limited to no more than two standard drinks a day
  • you should avoid drinking immediately before breastfeeding
  • if you wish to drink alcohol, consider expressing milk in advance.


Giving up smoking is the single most important thing you and your partner/family can do for you, your baby and your family’s health. Planning to quit as early as you can is the decision most health professionals recommend when planning a pregnancy or when pregnancy is confirmed, but quitting at any time gives your baby a better chance of a healthy start in life.

At Barwon Health, it is routine practice for midwives and doctors to ask about smoking during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. If you currently smoke or have recently quit, they will advise you of the risks associated with smoking and explain the health benefits for you and your baby of being smoke free.  There are many benefits of quitting – it may be challenging but you will be offered support and encouragement. You will also be offered printed information, Quitline support and a referral to a community clinic for specialist management for help to quit. 

Barwon Health Be Smokefree Clinics​

Specialist smoking cessation services are ​provided at four community centres (Belmont, Corio, Newcomb and Torquay) and at one satellite clinic in Bannockburn.

  • Corio - 2 Gellibrand St, Corio 3214
  • Belmont - 1-17 Reynolds Rd, Belmont 3216
  • Newcomb - 104-108 Bellarine Hwy, Newcomb 3219
  • Torquay - 100 Surfcoast Hwy, Torquay 3228
  • Bannockburn - Golden Plains Shire

Who coordinates the Barwon Health Be Smoke Free service?

Qualified Community Health nurses (CHN) lead the Be Smoke Free Clinics and all have completed the Alfred Health Lung Health Promotion Centre: Smoking Cessation Facilitators Course. These CHN are supported in attending course updates and other appropriate continuing education and maintains professional accreditation and benchmarks with other organisations through involvement in the Smoking Cessation Facilitators Network, The Lung Health Promotion Unit at the Alfred and QUIT Victoria.

What does the service provide?​

  • Initial comprehensive assessment of the client's smoking behaviour and general health.
  • Initiation of an appropriate client-centred management program, which may include pharmacotherapy and behavioural therapy. A treatment course commonly comprises of 8 – 10 consultations.
  • Liaison with other treating health professionals including the client's General Practitioner as required.
  • Ongoing monitoring following the course to optimise smoking cessation and identify the risk of relapse, including follow-up at 6 and 12 months from initial assessment.

How do I refer?

Self-refer by phoning Information and Access on 1300 715 673.

What cost is there to the client?​

Clients will be charged​ according to the Barwon Health Community Health and Rehabilitation Fee policy. Fees are based on client's level of income and their ability to pay. Clients on a low income will be charges $9.80 per consultation.

No-one will be denied service because they are not able to pay fees and there is capacity to reduce or waive fees.​​



Last Modified: Tuesday, 21 February 2023