In your opinion, what has caused so many countries to clearly state in their national policy that pregnant women should abstain from alcohol? What do you make of the following statements?
“Maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby.
For women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, not drinking is the safest option.
For breastfeeding women, not drinking is the safest option. Women should avoid drinking in the first month after delivery until breastfeeding is well established. After that: alcohol intake should be limited to no more than two standard drinks a day; women should avoid drinking immediately before breastfeeding; women who wish to drink alcohol should consider expressing milk in advance.” (Australia)
“If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or about to breastfeed, the safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.”
“There is no safe amount or safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.” (Canada)
“Stopping drinking during pregnancy is the safest advice. Baby’s vital organs, e.g., heart, brain, and skeleton are formed between 10–50 days after conception. Often, this is before you know you are pregnant. Cutting down or stopping alcohol while trying to become pregnant protects your baby…. There is no known safe level of alcohol use in pregnancy, and stopping completely is advised.” (Ireland)
“Are you pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant? The most safe choice for you and your baby is not to drink alcohol. This is why:
- Drinking alcohol may reduce fertility (including among men) and raise the chance of a miscarriage;
- Even an occasional glass of alcohol during pregnancy may be detrimental, since alcohol is a toxic substance and even in small quantities can cause damage to the developing brain;
- Alcohol consumption by the mother may damage the child’s development during stages of pregnancy…” (Netherlands)
“Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol. (The message from health practitioners to abstain from alcohol during the entire pregnancy is unequivocal and should be promoted by all health practitioners.)
Continue avoiding alcohol when breastfeeding, especially during first month (if it is not possible for the woman to abstain from alcohol, they should be advised to limit themselves to 1 to 2 standard drinks occasionally… Mothers who do choose to drink moderately… during breastfeeding, but with to avoid exposing the baby to alcohol [should] wait until maternal blood alcohol level drops, allowing two to three hours to pass after drinking alcohol.)” (New Zealand)
…and, more to the topic at hand, is it really that hard to see why a bartender might have the viewpoint that he or she has the moral right to decide not to be complicit in knowingly exposing a fetus to alcohol?