Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Alcohol During Pregnancy

The idea of drinking while pregnant sounds pretty risky; however the majority of mothers I've spoken to indulged at least a few times while in the third trimester. I did a little bit of research and have found a lot of strong opinions about this online. "Would you put wine in your baby's bottle?!" is one line that struck me as a bit over the top. Still, it shows how passionate people can be about this issue. I found the following points quite helpful in making my decision as to whether or not I would have an occasional glass of wine:

  • Lipp and Whitten, whose "To Your Health" was published in 1995, are among an increasing number of doctors and researchers who feel that pregnant women have no reason to fear drinking a glass of wine every day. As revealed by contributing editor Thomas Matthews in the August 31, 1994 issue of the "Wine Spectator" magazine which was devoted largely to this controversy, "there is even new research that shows that moderate drinking during pregnancy may actually help the development of the child after birth.
  • The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently conducted a large study including 400,000 American women, all of whom had consumed alcohol during pregnancy. Not a single case of fetal alcohol syndrome occurred and no adverse effects on children were found when consumption was under 8.5 drinks per week.
  • A recent review of research studies found that fetal alcohol syndrome only occurs among alcoholics. The evidence is clear that there is no apparent risk to a child when the pregnant woman consumes no more than one drink per day.
It sounds to me like a glass of wine here or there is completely safe. Also, I've known so many women who drank moderately (one glass of wine a couple of times a week) during the third trimester and have perfectly healthy children.

Now, I can't write this post without mentioning Jason's aunt (who has two super genius adult children) who told me about drinking during pregnancy, "we used to get blasted!". Obviously I won't be getting blasted, but I have been enjoying an occasional glass of red wine in the evening. Jason even opened up one of our nice bottles we'd been saving for a special occasion for me to enjoy!

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