Always a controversial topic, Time summarized a new study on drinking during pregnancy. The first paragraph of the article gives...
Always a controversial topic, Time summarized a new study on drinking during pregnancy. The first paragraph of the article gives expectant mommies who like their wine a little hope:
A glass of wine or two a week — and not more than one large glass on any occasion — may be safe during pregnancy, according to a large study just published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The British research found no negative effects of such light drinking on 5-year-olds whose mothers had imbibed while pregnant with them. Indeed, these kindergartners were slightly less likely to have behavioral problems and performed somewhat better on cognitive tests than children whose mothers had abstained.
However, if you go on to read the entire piece, drinking during pregnancy begins to sound more serious, as the author explains how those findings changed when the study controlled for other factors. Even more, the research confirmed what we've known for a long time: drinking moderately during pregnancy has negative consequences. It's worth reading, and it certainly doesn't give women the green light to go out and have some fun while pregnant, but I'm left feeling...unsettled The Time article concludes with the following statement:
But for those women who drink before finding out they're pregnant or who have an occasional glass of wine afterward, this study can provide reassurance that very low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are unlikely to cause serious problems.
The Centers for Disease Control maintains, in simple terms, that "there is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy." Granted, sometimes women drink before they are aware that they are pregnant and, as the Time article notes, perhaps this new study will give them a little reassurance. But what about those women "who have an occasional glass afterward?" In my opinion, nothing tastes good enough to knowingly put one's baby' at risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, even if that risk is so slight it's negligible.  And that opinion is coming from a girl likes her glass or red. However, is it really a big sacrifice? And don't we make those all the time for health - often our own? I loved sourdough bread almost as much as life itself, but when I was finally diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I immediately gave it, and all forms of gluten, up for good. Do I miss it? Of course! But the consequences aren't worth it. And with pregnancy, there's an end in sight. I have known women who had an occasional drink during pregnancy and for the record, I didn't judge them. But it's not something I would do. Where do you stand? Is it worth it? Is it *that* big of a deal to give up alcohol for the duration of your pregnancy?

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