So far scientists have not been able to find out how much is too much when it comes to alcohol and pregnancy. That means no one really knows if it is safe or not to drink. That is why both the US and the UK recommend women do not drink at all during their pregnancy. Also there was a recent scientific study linking mothers drinking to a drop in IQ of their children. It found that women who consumed a moderate amount of alcohol could noticeably lower their children's IQ. It was a pretty exhaustive study and it makes some good points for not drinking while pregnant. Then there is the fact that people who drink to excess can damage their brain (both the white and grey matter). While I am sure pregnant women are not doing this, there is no way of knowing how your baby will react even to a small amount of alcohol. They are growing and forming throughout the pregnancy and it is just not a good idea to mess with that process. Finally, if you are craving a sip or beer, why not just get some non-alcoholic beer and enjoy as much as you want.
Anyone have a drink while pregnant? - Page 2
I'm a teacher, and when I went through teaching college we had to take a course on special exceptions in learning (learning disabilities). We studied a unit on Fetal Alcohol and later I attended an FAS workshop and presentation by child development professionals ... what shocked me the most was to learn that alcohol is one of the few drugs that actual affects, alters and inhibits your DNA and genetic development while in utero. That's why there is no 'safe' amount because even exposure to small or moderate amounts can potentially affect your development permanently in some way. Can you necessarily measure it once the child is born? No, because you will never have a "control" child sharing the exact same genetic code to compare it to, and even then, the differences may be minute if the drinking is in small amounts, however you're still exposing your child to a drug that can and will alter their development... a child may very well still perform in normal ranges of IQ, development, growth, function etc but I can't help but feel like I am robbing my child of their full potential and the body they were meant to be born with if I consume a drug with known consequences without there being a beneficial medical or therapeutic reason that out weighs those risks. I also want to say at this point that I am not judiging those who choose to drink, but simply explaining my reasoning for not.
What may also shock you is that the type and amount of food you eat can do the same thing. It's why pregnant women are also advised not to cut carbohydrate intake too far, even if they have gestational diabetes, because the resultant production of ketones in the body can cause genetic changes in the fetus, predisposing the eventual child and adult to excessive fat gain and retention. The theory behind this, which makes sense, is that maternal ketone production signals a resource-poor environment so babies who are predisposed to extra-efficient energy use (ie, lotsa chub) will have a distinct survival advantage. However, in this era, few babies exposed to this sort of maternal environment actually ARE born into a resource-poor environment so what was once an adaptation is now a hindrance and a health risk.
Interesting, no? There are other environmental signals that are also suspected to affect, alter and "inhibit" (although that's a bit of an uninformative term since there are definitely times when inhibition is the appropriate cellular response) genetic development. Some of them are relatively benign and adaptive in the right environments, but some (like exposure to certain plastics) are not.
Alcohol is certainly not the only drug that can affect in utero development - there are hints that marijuana can have similar effects when used to excess and ANY drug that can cross the blood-brain barrier has that potential also.
My point is, there is a LOT to worry about, carrying a child in our toxin-laden, nutrient-poor but calorie-rich, sunlight-deprived, artificial environment. And, as was pointed out, there is no way to tell how ANYTHING has affected your child unless the effects are severe or you manage to produce identical embryos and gestate one of them in somebody else, strictly controlling both environments. Your child is NOT going to be the epitomy of what his or her genes can produce. End of story. Nobody is. Is having half a beer here and there going to make any significant difference? There is, of course, an outside chance that yes, it's conceivable. Not taking your vitamin D or folate consistently or driving rather than walking as much as possible or not forcing down your dinner when you're not hungry and then not eating until the next morning or drinking out of a plastic cup or forgetting which one of your water bottles was the one you didn't send back when the BPA thing came up... those are also likely to have a similar effect. And let's not forget the damn STRESS you'd be under if you worried about all of those things!!! Stressed mamas make all sorts of nasty hormones that can signal a hostile environment to a developing fetus, resulting in an ill-adapted child when the environment turns out to be not so bad after all.
There is no logical reason to single out a very modest amount of alcohol as something to avoid, over any of these factors. Personally, I take more care to keep my vitamin D levels good and avoid plastics. These things are easier for me than avoiding the odd tasty, tasty craft beer that sends happy yum signals to my wee babe. If you want to avoid the booze like the plague and still keep swigging your bottled water, so be it. I'm not saying that's the wrong choice, but I AM saying that alcohol is not uniquely or definitively any more toxic or likely to cause genetic harm than any of those other things, unless used to excess.
I've kept up with my usual tasting-my-husband's beer or cider routine since getting the BFP, but haven't really had anything more than sips because my stomach simply hasn't been up to it. Honestly, there are so many things we're told to avoid during pregnancy, half of which, it seems, one only learns about after giving birth, that I'm just not willing to be paranoid about all of it. I'll change my normal behavior a little, but I refuse to be absolutely strict and avoid anything that has a remote possibility of harming the little one . . . there's so much out there that I'll be afraid to leave my bed.
I never would have thought about wine helping with BH's. That's kind of a good idea. I mean my midwifery book recommends a drink for PTL so it would make sense that it would help BH too.
I have been having cravings for beer this whole pregnancy. I still haven't had one though. I just ate my way through a pizza and if we had some right now I would go for a half a beer. I craved wine with my DD and had maybe 4 half glasses the whole pregnancy.
After my first trimesters I never had a problem w/ a drink, usually 1 a week. If I felt the slightest bit more than relaxed I cut it off immediately. But I have a larger frame as well. If I were 5'4 & 115lb I'd probably drink much less or not at all while pregnant. I always figured since I was 5'7 & closer to 150 I could process a drink fairly well w/ no ill effects. I've tried to drink w/ this baby & it just turns my stomach so I've no problem abstaining. My first baby I went 43 weeks & had 2 huge glasses of merlot as he had overstayed his welcome & I'm not sure that that didn't contribute to labor starting the next day.
Personally, I feel like light drinking after the first trimester (say, no more than a glass of wine/week) is very unlikely to cause any issues. Unfortunately, wine and beer just do not appeal to me while pregnant so I haven't been drinking anything. I was looking forward to a small glass of wine on turkey day but the first sip totally turned me off.