Post # 62
@abbyful: We brought a bottle of champagne to the hospital when my niece was born. We opened it like 20 minutes after she was born and the nurse came in and saw us and backed out of the room saying “I didn’t see anything” :). We all enjoyed a nice glass including mom who had too quick of a labor and couldn’t get an epi in time.
Post # 63
I’m surprised by the different responses in this thread…. it’s interesting to read the perspectives of those in Europe vs. the US. I agree it’s a very personal decision, and research as well as speaking with your doctor is most important. Personally, I don’t think I’d have any just because it’s not worth it to me, and I just always have thought that’s the way I’d approach pregnancy. I’m definitely a social drinker– 2-3 drinks when out to dinner on the weekends or out with friends; I rarely turn down a drink:) But when pregnant, I won’t be touching it just because I believe that’s best. I also work with children with disabilities, and what some people don’t realize is that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have affects on children that aren’t always visible, but behavioral/ learning differences that can come later. Not worth the risk, I say.
Post # 64
@Ree723: Actually, there was just a recent study showing that children of mothers who consumed an average of one unit of alcohol per week had far fewer behaviour problems in school and performed as well if not better than their peers from mothers who abstained from all alcohol.
What study was this? I’d love to read it. There have been numerous studies have shown that even low levels of alcohol during pregnancy can produce physical, cognitive, and behavioral deficits in children. Controlled studies cannot be done during pregnancy, because there too much risk involved. Most of the information comes from data collected after the pregnancy is over. In regards to the particular studies I am referring to, the findings are consistent.
As to someone’s statement about the effects of one glass of alcohol on a fetus – well, that would be a concern if the alcohol was streamlined straight to baby, but as it is metabolised by our bodies before crossing over the placenta, it’s not a concern unless it is drunk in larger quantities – i.e. quicker than our body can metabolise the alcohol.
Actually, due genetic variations, some women and fetuses will metabolize alcohol faster than others. Everyone’s physiology is different and no two pregnancies are exactly the same. There isn’t any way you will ever know for sure that you are metabolizing it fast enough before it crosses the placenta.
I’m really not preaching to you or anyone else here. I do believe it’s important to listen to your doctor or midwife, but it’s also important to do some research on your own. And since I’ve weighed in enough on this here, that is my final say on the subject. 🙂
Post # 65
Here’s what it said in my copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Not saying WTE is the pregnancy bible, but serves as a decent general guideline. Regarding alcohol consumption:
It’s well known that no amount of alcohol is safe when you’re expecting (though don’t worry about any drinking you did before you knew baby was on board – there’s no evidence that light drinking very early in pregnancy can harm a developing embryo). Alcohol enters the fetal bloodstream at the same concentrations present in your blood. The problem is, your baby-to-be is tiny compared to you, so while you might be pleasantly buzzed after one or two glasses of wine, your baby can be at the point of passing out. Worse, heavy drinking (five or six drinks a day) throughout pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome — a condition associated with multiple deformities in the baby as well as developmental delays and other problems. Even moderate drinking (one to two drinks daily) has been linked to a variety of serious problems including miscarriage, labor complications, low birth weight, stillbirth, abnormal growth, and developmental and IQ problems in the child.
So while it’s clear drinking isn’t safe at any time during pregnancy, a new study to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that drinking during the latter half of the first trimester has the most negative impact on the fetus and is associated with some of the most telling physical signs of fetal alcohol syndrome.
Researchers followed nearly 1,000 women and found that for every one-drink increase during the second half of the first trimester there was up to a 25 percent higher risk of the baby having those physical abnormality associated with fetal alcohol syndrome: thin upper lip, small head size, low birth weight, low birth length, unusually small set eyes.
This study comes at the same time as an alarming new report from the CDC, which finds that one in four young people ages 18 to 34 (prime childbearing age) admit to binge drinking –defined for women as consuming four or more drinks in one sitting. On average, women in the report admit to downing almost six drinks at a time, three times per month. This trend is worrisome, as many women don’t know they’re pregnant until well into the first trimester. And if this type of binge drinking continues through the first trimester (and beyond), the repercussions for the fetus can be quite serious.
If you’re expecting or expecting to expect, your best bet is to be on the safe side by cutting out alcohol altogether.
Post # 66
For me drinking alcohol was out of the question. Unless/until it is proven that there is a safe amount to drink I felt better staying away from all alcohol. Including on my wedding day; DH was ok with me drinking a little, I was not. My midwife did say that small/limited amounts were ok but did give the warning that there is no known safe amount. I have always been in the better safe than sorry category so I just abstained. I do however have a bottle just waiting for the day when my son is weaned so I can indulge again.
Post # 67
I have a sip of my DH’s beer every so often just to taste it, and I only did it after I started my second trimester. I have discussed this with my doctor, and he thinks it’s totally fine.
Given that each country is different with their pre-natal care, I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to judge anyone else just because their beliefs are different. If it’s not something that’s for you, then don’t do it. For me, a glass of wine at any point in my pregnancy would be too much…so I personally don’t do it. If someone else thinks it’s fine, then who am I to judge?
Post # 68
@KatyElle- This is what I have learned as well. I have a major in child psychology and learned about this while I was in college and it always stuck with me.
While there I don’t know if having a drink once in a while could have a negative affect on your baby when he/she is born. I just can’t imagine my little baby drunk or passed out inside me. Babies can’t break down alcohol like we can so the baby could have a much higher alcohol content than mom.
There are so many choices that pregnant women have to make, so I’ve just made the choice for me to not have any during my pregancy.
Post # 69
Not pregnant but when I am I will have a zero alcohol tolerance policy. It is a well known fact that alcohol can cause harm to a fetus. We do not know how much however and as it is not possible to perform randomized clinical trials, we will never know this answer. Therefore, my theory is why risk it? I like to drink but it won’t be the end of the world to give it up for 9 months.
Post # 70
I’m not pregnant so I didn’t vote (don’t want to skew your results), but I will likely abstain entirely.
Personally, I would be comfortable with a 1/2 glass of wine maybe once a month but I know DH will be adamantly against any alcohol consumption. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not such a big sacrifice for me…though I DO love a nice, deep, rich, zinfandel 🙂
Post # 71
Most of the time my husband has a beer/wine, I take a sip – I’d say even 2-3 times per week, altho some weeks are none. During my first trimester I was really craving beer so I had a non-alchoholic beer. I would’ve been OK with a glass here and there, maybe 3-4 in total like OP said, but DH is against it so I just sip, and now I’m even sipping once in awhile when he offers.
I have several European friends who drink wine daily when pregnant and have had no adverse side effects, but as PP have stated US doctors/doctors here are very adamant about NO alochol while PG.
Post # 72
is anyone else kind of disturbed with the results of this poll? Why risk it if you know it might harm your little? I am a little flabergasted.
Post # 73
I drank maybe 5 glasses of wine over the course of my pregnancy. Most of them my friends had diluted into “sangria” form (i.e. they added some juice & a couple pieces of fresh fruit for me). It kind of gets under my skin when people say things like “We know even small amounts of alcohol harm a fetus”…actually, we don’t “know” that. I can respect people who say “It’s unclear how much alcohol is required to harm a fetus, so I’d rather abstain entirely since I’m not sure what the ‘safe’ amount is, or if it even exists”.
The problem with the majority of the studies about drinking during pregnancy is that they rely on self reporting. I remember reading an article about how it was believed that the parents of many of the children who showed signs of damage from alcohol consumed during pregnancy were believed to have grossly misrepresented the actual amount of alcohol they had consumed (which makes sense- would you admit it if you binged on alcohol while pregnant?).
Although no article is doctrine, this one is interesting http://www.beekmanwine.com/prevtopak.htm
…“it is important to ask: risky when compared to what?” In her recently published book The Myths of Motherhood, Shary Turner indicates that alcohol is far from the only risk factor pregnant women are warned against. Other “risky” items include caffeine, chocolate, raw oysters, unpasteurized cheese, tropical fruits, drugs that alleviate cold symptoms, nail polish, suntan lotion and hair dye, all of which in some amount may harm the fetus. Turner’s conclusion is that “the only risk free pregnancy is one that is meant less to benefit the baby than to imprison the mother in anxiety and self-reproach.”
In the absence of 100% certainty about the issue, many continue to insist that abstinence is the best advice to give pregnant women. Others, however, see this attitude as illogical and have concluded that the risks and benefits associated with light to moderate regular wine consumption compare quite favorably with most other activities of daily life. Doctors Whitten and Lipp write that “light, regular wine consumption, or one or two glasses of table wine per day can be part of the healthy lifestyle for most people, including pregnant women.” Gynecologists Howard Carp and Martha Direnfeld also feel that women who drank healthfully before pregnancy are not endangering their fetuses if they go on drinking in the same way during pregnancy. Dr. Carp states “an occasional glass of wine or any other drink is fine, no problem at all, and those women who drink a glass of wine once or twice a week with their meals should not feel any guilt or fear at all.” Dr. Direnfeld acknowledges the harm of drinking in excess but feels that “a reasonable amount of alcohol, say a glass of wine per day, will not harm the baby.”
It is true that all of the evidence has not yet been gathered, but it is difficult not to see the logic of the conclusion of the Wine Spectator: “When it comes to drinking, evidence demands interpretations and decisions require judgment. Women are capable of choosing for themselves.”
Post # 74
@Mrs McCain 2012:
Why risk sugar? Stress? Seafood? Frozen yogurt? Lunchmeat? Not exercising? Exercising too much? All these have risks associated with them (in fact, driving a car is more risky to a fetus than a glass of wine at night with dinner). We all have to weigh the risks of activities we do when pregnant with the benefits of being happy & healthy & continuing to live our lives.
Post # 75
but why even risk it since we dont know the exact amount that will harm the fetus?
Post # 76
@Mrs McCain 2012:
Because, after extensive reading on the subject, I don’t believe one glass of wine on occasion poses a risk to an unborn child. Why risk any of the other things that have associated risks in some amount? It just seems kind of silly that people are so horrified that women might dare drink a glass of wine during pregnancy, but ignore that there are plenty of other behaviors which have better documented risks, and we don’t expect women to cut these all out of their lives.