Wine and Pregnancy - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 06-14-2014, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wine and Pregnancy

I know this could turn into a heated debate. That is certainly not my intention. Please refrain from negative comments directed toward individuals who are expressing their truth.

I have been reading some studies about alcohol consumption and pregnancy. I have been quite surprised to read that many studies are showing that light to moderate drinking during pregnancy, 5-7 glasses/week (not in one sitting, and not more than one per sitting) seems to have no ill effect on the baby to be. According to these studies in some respects it could even have a positive impact on the baby/child.

I live in the US where it's taboo to intake any amount of alcohol, but I know that in European countries, having a glass of wine is not at all uncommon.

I've heard the argument, "why risk it?", but there are many things that women do during pregnancy that are "risking it".

Always looking to expand, and seek my truth, I'm curious to hear from others after they do their own research.

Please, let's discuss, and not argue.
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#2 of 17 Old 06-14-2014, 06:46 PM
 
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I have never been as strict as the "rules" call for in the US. I eat lunch meat from time to time and have a glass or two of wine from time to time (though not 5-7 a week...that sounds like a lot). I don't like the off-limits cheeses, but if I did, I would eat those sometimes too. And... I am really bad about taking prenatal vitamins. It's not on purpose- I just can't remember to take the dumb things. I even bought expensive ones last time thinking that maybe if I spent a lot of money on them I would remember to take them. I still forgot (and DH took them instead because he was trying to win a no shave November contest).

Sometimes I feel like us Americans are too worried and too cautious. Pregnancy and birth in other countries fascinates me. For all our precautions here in America, we STILL rate as having one of the highest maternal and infant (neonatal?) mortality rates among civilized countries. That's sad and it says a lot to me.
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#3 of 17 Old 06-14-2014, 07:40 PM
 
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Thank you for bringing up an interesting subject!

A coworker of mine has several adopted children who have Fetal Alcohol Effect and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She, understandably, has very strong feelings about avoiding alcohol during pregnancy, and I sure don't begrudge her that, but I was frankly shocked to hear some of the pseudoscience she uses to support her opinions. She stated unequivocally that "when you drink, the systems that build the baby, that decide which cells will be brain cells and which will be skin cells, are themselves drunk, so everything goes in all wrong. It doesn't matter how much alcohol you've consumed--*any* amount will cause that." When another colleague mentioned the attitudes and behaviors of mothers in other countries, she first chalked their lower FAS rates up to lower rates of binge drinking compared to the U.S. (and I thought, okay, that's sensible), but then added, "mostly, though, it's because Europeans have built up a different tolerance over generations of alcohol use, so you don't see it as much over there." Um... that's not how tolerance... works?

Anyhow, the last thing I want to do is throw this particular coworker under the bus--I really do understand how she would be 100% opposed to any usage of alcohol at all. But it's hard not to hear these arguments and think, "So, this is the best mainstream American medicine has got for us?"

I personally have a sip every now and then, and after the first trimester will have a beer on the occasional evening. And am frankly pretty rabid on the subject of what expecting mothers are and aren't "allowed" to do, in general.
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#4 of 17 Old 06-14-2014, 08:31 PM
 
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GREAT topic for discussion.

I am a rule breaker, too. I will drink the occasional glass of wine if I want it with my Italian food, or on a date. I drink raw milk. I eat lunch meat occasionally without heating it up. I eat my meat (if from my local farmer) as rare as I want. Mostly, I do everything that I do while not pregnant (Though I don't drink AS MUCH wine.). The only thing I really do differently while pregnant is not use essential oils that are not safe for pregnancy! And, I *might* exercise more diligently. lol.

Now, if you would have told me 7 years ago, while I was pregnant with DD1, that this is how I would handle myself during pregnancy with kiddo number 4, I would have told you that you were insane!!! There is no way I would EVER risk my baby's health like that!!! (Back then, I wouldn't even consider a CNM and here I am, a crunchy lady who delivered her last baby - a FOOTLING BREECH! - at home!) hahaha! Silly 2007 Jodie. There is so much you have to learn. Today, I really feel like Americans like to have things as black and white, yes or no. I feel like Alcohol has been a victim of this mindset. Instead of having to be responsible and have people make their own choices based on research, it is easier just to say, DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE PREGNANT.

Just my two cents!
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#5 of 17 Old 06-14-2014, 11:20 PM
 
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I guess I just feel like there has not been any real research( the kind you find in research journals) that say yes, alcohol is good during pregnancy or not good. I'd rather not take the chance. But on the other hand, I do not really enjoy drinking for the taste so it really is not an issue for me. If I was a wine critic I may miss the flavor and want to have a bit every once in a while. I also don't drink coffee while pregnant. I love it but I just want to approach my pregnancy cautiously. Seems I can wait 9 months. Do I judge others? Nope. It I saw a drunk pregnant woman I would but a glass of wine or coffee... Who cares if you've made that decision for yourself.
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#6 of 17 Old 06-15-2014, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm delighted to be amidst some pretty conscious mama's.
Jodie, I hear you totally on "growing up" from having our first. The righteous "me" of my 20's has been replaced by this person I would have vehemently denied I could ever become. And I like her a heck of a lot more.

I'm exploring whether, within reason, there is much one can do to screw up a pregnancy and the human to be. Seems our bodies are designed to protect that little one, as all nature is designed to protect new life force. I do think there is a limit, and mindfulness is an important factor in this statement.

On a side note, I was reading recently about dioxin, and how horrible it is to a growing fetus (and a living adult and everything in between), and I started thinking... gee, the government is the first to throw a pregnant woman under the bus for making a choice on her own about what goes into her body, something as traditional as wine, but it does little to ensure that horribly toxic chemicals be moderated (or nixed) from our world. Our culture blames the woman when she puts something questionably "bad" in her body, but turns the other way on things way more detrimental that she has no control over, and would presumably totally avoid in her life choices if it were really a choice.

The me of my 30's appreciates free will and my own power to choose and let others choose, too.

I did choose to have a few sips of wine last night (which initiated my curiosity), but listening to my body, I really didn't *want* that glass, so passed it off to my partner after two sips. Our bodies know, if we listen to them, rather than our addictions.
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#7 of 17 Old 06-15-2014, 10:16 AM
 
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I drank wine with my previous pregnancies, after the first trimester. In fact, my favorite wine plays a critical role in my birth plan!

I lived, and traveled, abroad during my first pg, and I beat myself up after every morsel of sushi and raw cheese. You know what? That was silly. Japanses women eat sushi, the French consume wine (though not raw veggies) and raw dairy. When in Rome, do as the Romans do!

The world is fraught with danger and I cannot measure every risk and let it lord over my life. I drank raw milk like I'd done for years before, ate fermented foods, had a glass of wine a trimester (that's how infreuqently I wanted it), and enjoyed life. I DID try my best to eliminate toxins from body products and cleaners, I exercised, I tried to make great choices for my babes. The way I see it, I could follow the pregnancy rules and still get a raging case of food poisoning from...cantalope...or spinach..or...fill-in-the-blank.

All that being said, my DD2 has epilepsy. Some days I wonder if it is because I didn't refuse my tuna cravings. Most days, I think my traditional-foods diet may be te very reason why she is actually doing as well as she is now.

I think pregnancy is the perfect time for prudence--make the wisest choice you can with the info you have.
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#8 of 17 Old 06-15-2014, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Duchess, I love your profile pic. WHAT LEGS!!! Nice.

We can never really be sure what caused something to be askew with our little ones. I know of a little girl whose mom did crack during the 1st and 2nd trimesters (not something I condone! It was very challenging to sit by and watch.) and had a perfectly healthy little girl. I know another mother who followed all the rules, and had a baby who developed a brain tumor within the first year of life, and is now permanently disabled. What will be, will be. Your final line sums it up... Make the wisest choice you can with the info you have, trust your choices, and the intentions of the Universe. That doesn't mean to act recklessly, but to act with love in the choices we make.

Welcome to the board!
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#9 of 17 Old 06-16-2014, 03:58 AM
 
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Great discussion. And love that there is a no-flame, respectful covetsation. So glad to be in a DDC with you ladies. I'm half French, and witnessed all the smoking, drinking and raw cheese eating habits of that side of the family. Ironically it's the US side of the family, who are much more restrictive, who'be had endless health, mental and physical, issues. Anecdotal, and probably irrelevant, but interesting to observe. my 1st pregnancy drank occasionally after 1st trimester. Worried ALOT, DS seems to harbor no ill effects. Have done a lot of research on both, and am believe that "listening"to your body and child , and behaving moderately is key. The guilt associated with such consumption seems more toxic at that level than the items themselves, IMHO. sorry 'bout the auto correct madness btw.

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#10 of 17 Old 06-17-2014, 03:34 PM
 
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I think I would be ok with the occasional drink but one a day sounds a bit much for my comfort. I drink one occasionally while nursing too. I also don't follow any of the "don't eat this" while pregnant rules as long as I trust who is cooking it. I am not going to be eating gas station sushi but I would be ok with it being from somewhere I trust. I usually don't get vaccines while pregnant even though I mostly vaccinate the rest of the time. I just think to myself "If I do this and something happens to the baby, am I going to feel like it is my fault?" If the answer is yes then I try to avoid it.

**my husband however does not let me drink during pregnancy so I respect his wishes*

Sarah- sahm to a little boy and girl with a third blessing due in Feb.
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#11 of 17 Old 06-17-2014, 05:34 PM
 
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Great topic. I personally believe that slowly sipping a glass of wine most every night with a meal would not be harmful. My doctor feels it is fine. I did have a glass of wine occasionally with my DD1. She is 9 now and has ADHD but otherwise is perfectly smart and healthy. Her father also has ADHD so who knows if the occasional glass affected her. With DS I had maybe 4 glasses throughout 2nd and 3rd trimester. Now currently with my last pregnancy with DD2 I have not had any wine. But that's because I nursed DS for so long I got used to not-drinking. Plus I've been so incredibly nauseous I can't stomach the thought of wine. (Or coffee which I also believe the occasional cup or two won't hurt anything...but that's just my two cents).


I can totally see how someone who has seen the effects of FAS would feel very strongly against. But I do believe that there are a lot of fear-mongers out there.


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#12 of 17 Old 06-19-2014, 10:15 AM
 
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I don't follow all the "rules." I'm never much of an alcohol drinker even when not pregnant, so that isn't an issue, but I do drink raw milk, eat good sushi on occasion, and consume ferments I make myself. I really don't think a glass of wine at a time is going to cause trouble for anyone.



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#13 of 17 Old 06-19-2014, 11:14 PM
 
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To my mind it simply defies logic that a single glass of wine could cause FAS. It's extremely taboo where I am too, people say why take any risk at all, and we r all supposed to live like virgin nuns when pregnant. Anyway, I had a glass here or there in the third trimester with my second. With my first I didn't at all because of the intense social pressure and my desire to not have to lie or be judged. With the second I couldn't play into the hysteria, had less patience for the silliness of it. Baby is obviously fine. I know you don't want controversy but I have to say that as a feminist I find our culture norms about pregnancy and expectations of pregnant women to be a rather pointed exemplification of a profound societal misogyny. That women collude all the time makes my heart shed a tear. We are so tamed, so controlled and dominated :'(
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#14 of 17 Old 06-20-2014, 01:17 AM
 
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As an English person (and even here in England we're seen as uptight by the rest of Europe), I'm always astonished to hear on forums and from friends across the pond how black and white US "advice" for pregnancy and babies is. Here, people don't really seem to have an opinion about anyone drinking whilst pregnant unless someone is completely overdoing it. Personally I did drink a glass of wine now and then when I was pregnant but I actually stopped enjoying the taste, so I took that as a sign I shouldn't bother. But soft cheese, lunchmeat, all the other stuff... sure, I ate that because sometimes it was all I wanted! And nothing bad happened. It was worth the risk!
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#15 of 17 Old 06-21-2014, 05:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post
To my mind it simply defies logic that a single glass of wine could cause FAS. It's extremely taboo where I am too, people say why take any risk at all, and we r all supposed to live like virgin nuns when pregnant. Anyway, I had a glass here or there in the third trimester with my second. With my first I didn't at all because of the intense social pressure and my desire to not have to lie or be judged. With the second I couldn't play into the hysteria, had less patience for the silliness of it. Baby is obviously fine. I know you don't want controversy but I have to say that as a feminist I find our culture norms about pregnancy and expectations of pregnant women to be a rather pointed exemplification of a profound societal misogyny. That women collude all the time makes my heart shed a tear. We are so tamed, so controlled and dominated :'(
So very well said, you've captured my thoughts exactly. I have to say though, I am so hopeful lately, because I've been in many situations over the last year or so where I will say one very, ah, controversial thing in a group of mild mannered women, and many of them will agree and have an intellectual conversation about it. Maybe we are slowly waking up? (Slowly...)
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#16 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 12:40 PM
 
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My doctor said a glass or two a week in the 2nd or 3rd trimester is fine. You would have to drink a LOT to cause FAS. Also - she told me that they used to use alcohol drips in the 50s to stop pre-term labor. Literally an IV of vodka. Not recommending that of course...

A few glasses here and there (NOT at the same time) is probably fine. Just don't do it in public - you will get a lot of dirty looks. I always drink O'Douls when I'm pregnant and out, and even that gets me some looks!
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#17 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 05:21 PM
 
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I am okay with occasional wine during pg. I wasn't even really seeking out the info when I was pg with my first (I was 20), but it came up in conversation with my OB, who told me that European women drink a glass of wine a day with no ill effects.

Of course, I drink raw milk and eat feta and raw eggs (in smoothies) when I'm pg, so it's not like I'm a big rule-follower anyway. I was pretty cautious with my first, though, which is how the wine convo came about with my OB. I had read about "no unpasteurized juices" in What to Expect (a book I now know to be hogwash), and I wanted to know if my OJ was really a danger to my baby. He just laughed.


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