When you’re pregnant, there’s a lot going in your head. From choosing a name to buying stuff for the new member of the family, from dealing with the discomfort to getting used to all the attention.
Being pregnant may be a happy moment in your life, but it certainly is stressful. It’s not strange to ask if it’s okay to have a glass of wine — in fact, this question is one of the few my wife has when she found out that she’s with child. It turns out there’s conflicting evidence between health experts, so let’s look at all the evidence.
For starters, it is not safe to overdo wine or any other alcoholic drink while pregnant.
Alcohol travels through the umbilical cord to the unborn child and could cause miscarriage, preterm birth, stillbirth, or physical and cognitive damage, and that’s a risky proposition. Still, according to some people, it may not be that risky.
All in Moderation. Or is it?
As stated in some studies published in the National Library of Medicine, drinking one or two standard drinks per week during the first 34 weeks of pregnancy do not implicate a risk factor in child development and behavioral problems.
We should mention two wine glasses a week are much less than what one would typically consider moderate drinking. The line between moderation and abuse is thin in this case since everyone is different.
Although moderate consumption may be less harmful, abusing alcohol will lead to severe risks; how much is too much for you? It depends on your age, weight, drinking habits, and overall health.
So why do so many people tell you drinking wine is okay while pregnant? No one means you harm; the problem is misinformation. After all, one out of ten women in America report having drinking during pregnancy, and some of our moms surely drank wine while carrying us.
The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, as it’s now called, was discovered in the 1970s, and it took a few more decades to discover kids with mental and behavior disorders even as teens. This is a relatively recent discovery. Since then, new evidence has been piling up in favor of ‘dry’ pregnancies.
Here Are Possible Consequences of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Wide-set eyes
- Undersized head
- Kidney abnormalities
- Cleft palate
- Deformed limbs
- Thin upper lip
- Attention deficit
- Intellectual disability
- Delayed development
- Vision impairment
- Poor coordination
- Dental malformations
- Deficient social skills
- Heart problems
- Below-average height and weight
How about drinking wine during breastfeeding? Since wine is a taboo during pregnancy, what about lactation? Alcohol transfers quickly from the mother’s blood to its breast milk, which is quite dangerous for the baby who can’t process alcohol nearly as well as adults. This could lead to severe health risks.
What to Drink Instead of Wine?
Although not everyone agrees a glass of wine might be dangerous during pregnancy, the consequences are too severe to risk it, so how to quench your thirst?
After all, being pregnant is all about social get-togethers, parties, and whatnot. It’s hard not to have a drink if everyone else has one, especially if the general feeling about the topic is that it’s okay to have a glass of wine.
That’s why we can thank mocktails and plenty of other non-alcoholic drinks for existing. The category is more popular than ever, and it includes alcohol-free beer, alcohol-free wine, and zero-alcohol fruit drinks, seltzers, and sodas.
You don’t need a glass of wine to have a good time, and you don’t need it to relax either. For that there are plenty of tasty floral infusions and tisanes.
Wine And Pregnancy Are a Bad Pairing
Everyone wants to give you advice when you’re pregnant, but you know what? It’s your pregnancy, so do your own research. Your health and your child’s health matter most, so make your own choices.
There’s plenty of wine rolling out the world’s vineyards every year, we’re not running out of it, and there will always be a cold glass of rose or a comforting glass of red wine waiting for you once your kid eats solids.
As always, if you have any doubts or lingering questions, the best person to talk to is your doctor. You can search all day for answers on the internet but professional advice, in this case, is the best advice. Stay safe and have a happy pregnancy!
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