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Dr. says alcohol while pregnant o.k.!

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 
Have you heard this before? My cousin is pregnant and was openly drinking wine at her sister's graduation party last weekend. When asked she said her Dr. said on glass/drink a week is fine and won't hurt the baby! WTF!?! I have not heard this and have two young boys of my own, one born last August. I thought this theory had been proven way wrong long ago.

My midwife did tell me a glass of beer may help induce labor but only to be considered if I were to go over 41.5 weeks, I went over but never drank. But to have a drink every week of pregnancy to me is crazy, would you give your baby a drink every week? I think not.

Anyone else heard of this?

Maybe it's advice given out in the mainstream medical community, a community I stay far, far away from.
post #2 of 110
Yes I've heard light drinking has never been proven to do harm to a fetus, only very heavy drinking the whole pregnancy has really been shown to cause FAS. I don't know about inducing labor, I've heard alcohol recommended to stop preterm contractions since it is a muscle relaxant.
post #3 of 110
Yup. Especially wine and beer is totally a-okay assuming it's not all the time and not more than a glass or two (depending on the way you metabolize it).

Now if only DH would let me sip a maitai when we're in Kauai next month!!! Ya....not gonna happen!

FAS is a hot topic and some folks think 'it's not worth the risk' for even one drink. But theres no way one drink is going to cause FAS.
post #4 of 110
1 drink/week? Yeah, both my OB and midwife said that was fine. A great many do. No, that has not in any way been "debunked;" it's pretty common in most countries. The documented, studied problems with alcohol, FAS, etc. are at a much higher level than 1 drink/week. The US tends to recommend "absolutely no alcohol" because they believe if they say that any amount at all is okay that people will use it as an excuse to drink more than is okay.
post #5 of 110
yes, don't see a problem
post #6 of 110
My Dr said the same thing. One or two drinks a week (not at the same time) with food. There are actually some studies that show it to be beneficial to the pregnancy. I am sure someone will come on and link it.
post #7 of 110
I've only heard this about wine, which has health benefits. I tried a glass in my first trimester, but I hate wine, so this is an alcohol free pregnancy for me!
post #8 of 110
My midwife has also said a glass here and there is fine. I abstained completely with my first (okay minus a few sips of a VERY nice wine). But this time around I think I'll have one occasionally. I'm not a big drinker but I like a nice white wine or beer during summer BBQ's.
post #9 of 110
I can't stand wine or beer, but if I did then I'd have absolutely no problem having a drink once in a while.
post #10 of 110
I thought it was pretty well known that in Europe pregnant women have a glass of wine with dinner fairly often and their FAS rates are lower than the US. It's regular binge drinking that causes FAS, not the occasional glass of wine once a week. The US is pretty much the only country with the "any amount is dangerous" mindset.
post #11 of 110
Er... think about it. Throughout most of human history women have been drinking wine during pregnancy - be it for Shabbat, in places where the water is unsafe to drink, or simply because they enjoyed drinking wine. If FAS were caused by a single glass of wine a week, the human race wouldn't have made it this far. Not by a long shot.

And "would you give your baby a drink a week?" makes no sense in this context. No, I wouldn't; but I wouldn't give a fetus hot chips either, and I was happily scoffing away on them throughout my pregnancy. I wouldn't give a fetus any kind of food or drink, in fact... it's a fetus. The amount of alcohol passed on to the baby is not the same amount as the mother gets. Yes, excessive drinking can cause damage to the developing brain, liver etc of a baby - but the small amount of alcohol in a glass of wine? If so, as I said, entire generations of humans would have FAS.

I don't mean to be rude, but I hope you didn't shame the mother-to-be. Pregnancy is tough enough without misinformation contributing to the no-nos. I can't stand the taste of alcohol, but if I liked it I'd have no problems drinking a little - frankly I'd be more worried about coffee! (Although I don't like the taste of that either, so there you go...) The USA is hyper-paranoid about eats and drinks during pregnancy, IMO, and the last thing an informed mother needs while she's "openly" enjoying her one glass of wine or eating her soft cheese or sushi is being told she's crazy.
post #12 of 110
I've never been given a specific amount as a guideline, but I've also never had a care provider (OB, GP or midwife) tell me that it's necessary to completely abstain. What my first GP said about it was that the line between safe and unsafe isn't known, so it's generally prudent to just avoid it. He never suggested that it's totally unsafe, and I've never heard anything to suggest that it is, either.

I certainly don't think it's a "mainstream" idea that it's okay to have a drink or a few or whatever. The mainstream, widespread idea seems to be that FAS will be caused by having a sip of champagne at a friend's wedding when you're 8 months pregnant...
post #13 of 110
Most doctors will tell you that it's best to abstain totally from alcohol, but there are some out there that tell you a little bit here and there won't hurt (which is common knowledge). It's not surprising to me at all. Most women I know have a few sips of wine during their pregnancy without any fears.
post #14 of 110
I'll also add (though I haven't looked at the research myself, and it's been long time since I dug into this at all) that I've come across several references to FAS not being solely about alcohol at all. There's a belief in some quarters that people who drink to excess are almost always severely deficient on a nutritional front, and FAS may well be linked to nutritional deficiencies as well as/in addition to actual intake of alcohol. I keep meaning to dig into that again.

All that said...I think this is my first pregnancy where I haven't had a single drink, even once. Various things have come up in all my others where having a drink seemed reasonable.
post #15 of 110
I drink one glass pretty regularly, maybe like twice a week. Sometimes I even have two. No more than that though - I'm not going for "drunk" just mellow.

I did a LOT of research on this before I made the decision, and it turns out that the US really is the only country that thinks any alcohol in pregnancy makes you a bad mom, just like Talula said (sort of ). The US studies on FAS are based on consuming MORE THAN FIVE drinks REGULARLY. Sigh. Since studies can't ethically be performed using pregnant women as subjects, the data was simply extrapolated to say all alcohol = you're a bad mother. "Since no amount of alcohol has been PROVEN SAFE..." - see, it's cuz they can't do the studies to "prove" it.

European women have been drinking during pregnancy for a long long time. I'm okay with the risk, which I see as minimal. And besides, red wine helps with circulation, and our bodies are making a TON of extra blood while we're pregnant. We end up with 50% more at the end of pregnancy. It makes sense to me to drink a glass here and there.

Just my .02. I know I get looked at like a terrible mom all the time, though, by people who know I'm pregnant while I'm having a glass of wine. I similarly think they're crazy for vax'ing against chicken pox. We all make our choices.
post #16 of 110
post #17 of 110
I had the occasional glass of wine/beer while pregnant with all three of my kids. I don't think it's a big deal. Excessive drinking is obviously harmful to both mother and child.
post #18 of 110
Originally Posted by vegasgrl View Post
"Since no amount of alcohol has been PROVEN SAFE..."
Exactly what I was going to say. In my first pregnancy, I was joking around with my OB during one of my appointments in December. I was turning 21 on New Year's Eve and was pregnant. I was telling him that I picked the perfect time to get pregnant. He told me to "go ahead and have one drink"...I didn't, as it was out of my comfort level, but I definitely was shocked. He then told me the above statement that I quoted and said he truly believed a glass of wine/1 beer a week or less isn't going to cause any harm.

I haven't had a drink since I found out I was pregnant again, but that's not to say I won't have that drink this New Year's Eve on my 25th birthday, even though I'll be 9 mos pregnant then
post #19 of 110
Blah- it's all fear tactics. It's dumb because nobody was preaching "No Drinking!!!" a hundred or so years ago and the human race survived.

It's like telling kids "Just Say No to Drugs!"

Drugs are fine in moderation- there are some you should really stay away from, but seriously, who really gets hurt from a little pot? Lets take that a step further- how are the side-effects of caffine any different than alchohol in intensity?

They pick the drugs they do for various reasons- I always thought the theory of who makes money off of the drugs to be a valid one. Why else have SO many OTC drugs? Why have these perscription commercials- the side effects of a lot of those are WAY worse than one "bad trip."

I'll get closer to topic though-

You tell people it's ok in moderation, and you get people who don't moderate their intake. These rules are there to protect the idiots and the ignorant. It's sad that the rest of us have to be misled, especially when it might possibly benefit our children.

I'd be interested in seeing a more social study on those groups of kids.
post #20 of 110
Here is a link to a good discussion on the boards here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1058907

And a good article for reference:
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