It's safe to drink while pregnant, but is it right?
Is it ever okay to drink while pregnant? My gut says no but my mind knows that I drank alcohol before I knew I had conceived. In fact, it is most likely that many children are conceived after a couple glasses of wine or pints of beer. New guidelines say that after the 12th week of pregnancy, a glass of wine once or twice a week for the duration is perfectly okay now. What?
Apparently, up until the 80's women were advised to drink a pint of stout to help elevate dwindling iron levels. I had always heard that a glass of wine in the last trimester was perfectly okay and earlier in the century women drank as they pleased, at will. So, it leads one to consider that pregnancy has not changed, so what about alcohol has changed the rules? Science.
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With more science research, we find out more about the process of pregnancy. A woman and her fetus do not share a blood supply until around week 4, so never mind about conceiving after a night of binge drinking. No need to freak out. If baby survived it, chances are that baby is fine.
"A Danish study in 2012 of more than 1,600 women suggested low-to-moderate drinking was not linked to adverse neurological effects in five-year-olds, but heavy, weekly drinking was associated with a lower attention span in the children."
After 12 weeks, the one to two glasses per week of alcohol go into effect so pregnant mothers are really only not supposed to drink at all week 4-12. Anyone can go without a drink for 8 weeks, even the neighborhood alcoholic.
Speaking of alcoholics, those who binge drink throughout pregnancy are the women who are running the real risk of exposing their unborn baby to fetal alcohol syndrome. Those who consume alcohol in small or moderate amounts may not be at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome but consider this, you are still at risk for poor judgment, dizziness and slips and falls that can accompany drinking alcohol in even the smallest amounts. But what is low-to-moderately? I currently drink about once every 6 months, as it stands. But when I got pregnant with my first child, we were having cocktails probably 5 days out of 7 and it was never just one.
My personal opinion, as a mother, is to just try to avoid it for 9 months. Even when given the okay to drink a glass of wine, I just didn't want to take anything into my body that could be construed as reckless or dangerous in any way but we all have a personal choice.
I gave up sushi, caffeine, soft cheeses, deli meats and alcohol. I also gave up driving like a maniac, going to overly crowded venues, wearing high heels, taking ibuprofen and relaxing in hot tubs. For me, it was about not tempting fate. I couldn't take the chance that if something ever went wrong that I didn't at least try to give my babies the healthiest start because I knew if anything had gone wrong, I would have blamed myself.
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