Friday, July 25, 2008

Alcohol While Pregnant

Okay, I'm 17 weeks pregnant (into the second trimester) and I recently read on a parenting site a big debate regarding whether it is okay or not to have a drink while you're pregnant. Please note that no one said it was okay to get drunk or booze it up, but the discussion ranged from people who allege that even one sip could cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) to those who think you can have a drink a day and not harm the baby.

I personally have in the past conducted some investigation into this issue - by asking two professional OBGYNs that I trust implicitly as well as researching FAS. I can say that the OBGYN's official position is that no amount of alcohol is safe for the baby, but they also pointed out that not every child whose mother drinks while the baby is in utero comes out with FAS. I think that is an excellent point. Also, the facts pertaining to the FAS studies show that the studies were conducted on people who drank heavily (either in binges or for extended periods). There is no proof (that I have found) of a child having FAS from the mother having one sip of alcohol during the pregnancy or even one glass of beer or wine. Furthermore, it is a fact that in the not to recent past women who went into premature labor would be given an IV of alcohol to stave off labor. Also, wouldn't everyone who was born before 1980 have FAS since almost everyone's parents drank alcohol and smoked back then? Just an observation.

I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts on whether it is okay to drink while you're pregnant. I'm somewhere in the middle on all this: I don't think it is okay to drink every day, but I certainly don't believe that one sip of alchol will cause your child to have FAS or that anyone who doesn't abstain 100% from alcohol during a pregnancy is selfish and doesn't care about her baby. Here's a quote from the BabyCenter discussion I was reading.

Here's the question: "I'm my last trimester and I have a huge hankering for a beer every now and then. When I go out to eat, everyone looks at me funny if I order one -- even if I only have a few sips. Does anyone else share this craving? What can I do to deter dirty looks? Posted: 12/09/2002 "

Here's just one answer out of hundreds - and I literally mean hundreds!

"How can you deter dirty looks? Don't drink the beer or any alcohol. I think you are being very selfish in drinking beer because you have a craving. What happened to sacrificing for your unborn baby. Do you realize that even one sip could cause your baby to develop Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. There are lots of things women crave when pregnant, some are not healthy. You need to remember that it is not just about you anymore. You need to start thinking about what is best for your baby. Drinking beer definitely is not. This is coming from a special education teacher who has worked with children who have FAS. Please stop drinking.
posted 7/10/2008 by jschulz08 "

Whoa! Pretty strong feelings about this out there. How do you feel? I'll tell you that the majority of the posts in response to this question said, "go ahead and have a beer now and then," but there were also plenty who castigated this woman for even considering having a drink.

Here's the post if you want to check it out:

Let me know your thoughts!


ginster said...

i am on the side of its ok to have a drink every now and then. i did with paige and she is a-ok. i also ate mass amounts of taco bell and cheetos, which can't be great for her either. again, totally healthy.

i LOVE the new look of the blog. where did you get the template?

lisawitt said...

Oh yes, this is always a huge one. I am one of when I hit 12 weeks, I asked my OB about the occasional glass of wine as I had Allison's wedding coming up. She said she had a glass every week or so and her baby was just fine.

Weirdly enough, and you know I love my wine, it didn't taste good to me! So I obstained more then participated while preggers. But I do understand the lady bloggers comment...for ex, I did have A GLASS OF WINE at my company Christmas party at a WINE BAR when I was 8 mo pregnant and someone said "Are you sure you should be drinking that?" I had had a sip if even at that point but it was enough guilt to put it on the table un-drunk....

Oh yeah...that goes along the lines of the lady who asked me this week when I got back to work, how was it going with daycare and followed up by,"I could NEVER have left my kids at that age". Gee,thanks lady!

Roxy said...

I was always worried about the looks so if I drank a glass of wine, I would do it at home. I typically would save my 1 glass per week for my in-laws house because their wine is a lot better than anything that I can afford. My FIL actually goes to the other extreme to say that our babies are French and that the wine he buys is GOOD for them. something about very old and hearty grape vines. I think he just wants to share :).

My babies are just fine, I would even go as far as saying that they are better than fine :).

Theresa said...

Ginster - I got the background from