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: http://www.babycenter.com/400_how-do-i-resist-my-pregnancy-craving-for-beer_500452_1000.bc?pageSize=10&startIndex=40&questionId=500452&ownerId=1000
Let me know your thoughts!