• Thu, Nov 15 2012

Why I’ll Never Believe A Study About Alcohol And Pregnancy

alcohol and pregnancyThere’s a new study out about drinking while pregnant! Everyone gather around to hear the details that will be obsolete next month when there’s another new study about drinking while pregnant!

Listen, I read a lot of health studies about pregnancy, childrearing, fertility, household cleaning products, non-organic food, fast food, school lunch food, and every other thing a woman can encounter in her life. The most frequent test subject I come upon is without a doubt alcohol and pregnancy. Everyone wants to know if a woman can drink while she’s carrying a baby. They want to know how much she can drink, when she can drink, and what she could possibly do to her child if she chooses to drink. Over and over again, alcohol and pregnancy.

The most recent study warns that drinking just a few times a week could lower a baby’s IQ by a few points. It followed thousands of pregnancies and the babies that resulted from them. The researchers involved acknowledge that previous studies have been all over the map, but this one is sure that they’ve found the right conclusion. Color me skeptical.

Women have been told that light drinking during pregnancy is horrible and should never happen. We’ve been told it is fine during the last trimester. We’ve been told it’s fine during the entire thing. I’m pretty sure someone even said it was beneficial a time or two. At this point, you could read a different study telling you a different thing in the waiting room before each prenatal appointment you have.

Maybe it’s time that mothers stop thinking about the studies and simply start using common sense. Instead of relying on researchers who can’t seem to make up their minds from one month to the next, let’s take a deep breath and think about alcohol and pregnancy. Is it a great idea to drink a lot of a substance that alters your mind and perception while carrying a child? No, it’s probably not. If you wouldn’t feed it to your toddler in a glass, you probably don’t want to feed it to a fetus in your body.

That being said, are a couple sips of wine really going to make it through your digestive system and be able to have a meaningful impact on the baby in your belly? I think most of us can agree that it probably won’t. But if you don’t feel comfortable taking that risk, then don’t drink any alcohol. It’s nine months. You can manage without it.

I think women in their hearts and in their heads realize what could be damaging to their pregnancies. I’m not going to attempt to make decisions for anyone else. If a woman really wants to get drunk during her pregnancy, well I think it’s obvious that her child isn’t her top priority. That’s incredibly sad, but it won’t change with a new study measuring IQ points.

I don’t trust alcohol and pregnancy studies anymore. I trust my own gut instinct. Personally, I don’t find that drinking during pregnancy is enjoyable or worth the risk. But as long as you’re being thoughtful and responsible, I think you’ll make the right decision for you. If that means a beer or a glass of wine in the evening, your little one will still be just fine.

There we go. It’s settled. No more studies needed.

(Photo: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • anon

    Im a pharmacy student and I can tell you that it is very dangerous to drink while pregnant. A fetus’ kidney don’t function like the adults and the alcohol concentration in their blood can be around 7 times more than that of the mothers and it can cause serious birth defects.I strongly advise not to drink while pregnant.

  • http://twitter.com/lorigertzauthor Lori Gertz

    Kudos to you! If more people followed the rules of common sense then Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder would be extinct!

  • http://twitter.com/bethany_ramos Bethany Ramos

    Common sense can vary greatly based on culture. In America, alcohol is widely discouraged during pregnancy, so “common sense” dictates that it is bad. In Europe, wine is consumed much more casually, even during pregnancy, so “common sense” would say that it is perfectly fine to enjoy in moderation. I err on the European side of caution and drink a few glasses of wine a week while pregnant (and have a healthy baby to boot with another one on the way). To each her own, but no judgment!