by Julie Snyder
Some restaurants in the United States refuse to serve noticeably pregnant women. Pregnant women continue to endure glares when they buy a bottle of wine. Drinking during pregnancy seems to bring out opinions! These opinions are usually based on myth instead of fact.
One of the most common questions is, "Are you able to drink a little during pregnancy without hurting my baby?" While some experts say even one drink might damage your baby's health, others say light drinking during pregnancy is "okay." What does the research show?
In the last decade, more than 10,000 studies addressed the affect of alcohol on the baby in the womb. There's a correlation between the amount you drink and the increase in the amount of risks and potential problems. However, reasearch shows a low alcohol intake might not hurt your baby at all. We've chosen ten studies to start your research and included details about each one at the end of the article.
International guidelines all agree that no drinking is the safest option during pregnancy. They're clear that there's absolutely no question that heavy, long-term, or repeated binge drinking during your pregnancy is associated with serious maternal and fetal risks. If you're pregnant and have a history of imbibing regularly, it's definitely in both you and your baby's best interest to stop or cut back drastically. We've summarized the data from the International Center for Alcohol Policy for your convenience:
When it comes to drinking during pregnancy, what would you choose?
In my work I see newborns with the facial features common to fetal alcohol syndrome babies but psychological damage concerns me more. Alcohol breaks something in these kid's brains. They seem to grow up not knowing or caring about their actions -- like they are without a conscious. I wouldn't take the chance and drink during pregnancy. Damage from alcohol seems so random. ~Kimberly Williams, Labor and Delivery nurse, Burien, WA
2. Lisa M Chiodo. Children of pregnant women 30 or older who binge-drink are more likely to suffer greater damage from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. October 2010. Children of older women were more likely to be affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder than children of younger women even though both groups reported the same drinking patterns during pregnancy.