Alcohol outside the US - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-02-2014, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Alcohol outside the US

I'm super curious: What is the attitude toward alcohol during pregnancy outside of the US? I've heard that European countries drink more often and more casually than US residents and that they continue to do so with little to no hesitation during pregnancy.

So, tell me about how the culture is surrounding this subject around the world.
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#2 of 9 Old 06-02-2014, 07:56 PM
 
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I lived in Europe during my first pregnancy.

I was in England, France, Italy and Germany.

My own personal observation is that women do drink, but it is a glass of wine or beer with dinner. Nothing more, and they often do not finish the glass. I personally could not drink at all as it made me very ill. I never saw a pregnant woman drink hard liquor.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is seen in these countries, though, so it is not something that a pregnant woman should take a chance with.

I had a friend who had early contractions at six to seven months - she drank alcohol to stop the contractions. I believe this is what was done at that time in the hospital with early contractions, only intravenously. I think magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant is used also, intravenously, to stop early contractions and prevent prematurity.

Her baby was fine, and he is 34 yrs old today. I assume since she was drinking later in pregnancy, the alcohol did not affect him too much or at all, apparently.
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#3 of 9 Old 06-04-2014, 04:48 AM
 
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I think Canada is still the same as the US - ultra cautious - but my sense is that things are starting to change just a wee bit. More often I'm hearing pregnant friends (and I catch myself saying the same thing) "no thank you, I know I could have a small glass but I won't" instead of a straight up "no." I feel like there's a subtle desire to open up the conversation but we're generally still worried about what other people will think. I think on average most people would agree that the occasional very small amount is perfectly harmless. They still won't do it though. Same for while nursing.

Side note: my mom still insists that sipping on warm flat beer all day (that you just leave sitting out on the counter) is the best cure for pregnancy nausea. She did it with all four of us and continues to tell me and my friends when we're feeling green. Eyes roll all around.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
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#4 of 9 Old 06-04-2014, 03:41 PM
 
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I grew up in Europe, and moved to the States as an older child, still spending all my summers in Germany w/ my grandparents. Drinking a glass of red wine a few times a week is considered normal, if not healthy during pregnancy. WHen I was pregnant with DS, my grandparents couldn't believe I wouldn't touch a sip of wine. My grandfather said I was crazy, but they were visiting here, and I had to explain it's just not accepted.

(you should have seen their reactions when I explained the maternity leave/health care situation in the states. they think we're living in the dark ages)
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#5 of 9 Old 06-09-2014, 04:08 PM
 
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I have several friends who will have a glass of wine or a beer on occassion once they reach the third trimester. Among the group of people I personally know it seems it's becoming a more common/acceptable thing to have the occasional drink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JessieBird View Post
Side note: my mom still insists that sipping on warm flat beer all day (that you just leave sitting out on the counter) is the best cure for pregnancy nausea. She did it with all four of us and continues to tell me and my friends when we're feeling green. Eyes roll all around.
The thought of that just makes me nauseated, lol!
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#6 of 9 Old 06-09-2014, 05:47 PM
 
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I'm in the US, but I have no problem with a few drinks a week (1 or less per sitting, usually no more than 2 times a week, and no hard liquor) while I'm pregnant. My kids are all 100% fine. Most of my friends/family think I'm wacko, but they can't argue with healthy kids as a result
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#7 of 9 Old 06-16-2014, 05:06 PM
 
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I'm in the U.S. and everyone I know, including my mother (PhD psychologist) and sister (nurse), are totally fine with drinking small quantities of alcohol throughout pregnancy. I'm in the second trimester and I will split a beer with my mom or husband periodically, always with a meal, and always spread out over about an hour. It takes about an hour for your body to metabolize a single drink, so if you're sipping over the course of an hour it's not even getting to the baby. Recent research demonstrated a link between moderate drinking during pregnancy and better mental health outcomes for children later in life. Maybe because of the relaxed mamas.

Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Currently due 12/13/2014 with a rainbow.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-17-2014, 07:38 AM
 
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LilyTiger, I've been reading that, too, regarding light to moderate consumption. I've also read some studies about smoking herb during pregnancy correlating with higher intelligence. Makes one wonder...
I was talking with a friend yesterday who mentioned smoking occasionally to curb morning sickness. Her babe is 18months old now, and her vocabulary and putting abstract concepts together (picking up a chewed piece of gum, handing it to her gramma and hearing, "oh, that's gum!" and the babe saying, "gum! piece!") is astounding.

Seems listening to our own intuition may be more sound than grabbing onto medical science, and using science as more of a guide than a hardened rule.
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#9 of 9 Old 06-18-2014, 11:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happyday8598 View Post
using science as more of a guide than a hardened rule.
I think this is a pretty safe way to go, though the reality is that a lot of what doctors have been recommending for years (don't eat fish, don't drink any alcohol, don't jump up and down) has never been supported by scientific evidence in the first place. So while it's important to recognize that science is always being updated with the newest discoveries, maybe a better way to approach it is to say that we shouldn't blindly trust "experts" without any kind of evidence on either side.

Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Currently due 12/13/2014 with a rainbow.
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