New British Study Says Moderate Drinking While Pregnant Is No Big Deal

moderate drinkingA new British study, in the June 17 online edition of BMJ Open, revealed that children of women who drank moderate amounts of alcohol while pregnant don't appear to have neurodevelopmental problems when it comes to balance. My question is what about all the other effects alcohol can have on a developing fetus? It just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

Researchers assessed the long-term health impact of drinking while pregnant by testing 7,000 10-year-olds on their balancing abilities, a method which is supposed to offer a reliable reflection of fetal neurodevelopment. Moderate alcohol consumption was defined for the study as three to seven glasses of alcohol a week.

“The bottom line, according to study co-author John Mcleod, is that “[there's] certainly no evidence that moderate alcohol use by pregnant mums is good for their kids, and [there are] reasons to be cautious about other messages around ‘benefits' of moderate alcohol use by pregnant mums. But equally, [there's] no strong evidence for important harmful effects.”

Okay, so the kids of moms who drink don’t “appear” to have any problems when it comes to balance. That is great, but come on, seriously, does that make it okay to drink alcohol when you are growing a baby? No way. Look, I used to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine, probably more than the average woman, but when I became pregnant I stopped. There were no one glass of red wine a night, no sips of anybody else’s drinks, no cravings, just cold turkey, my baby was more important than having a cocktail. Period.

I know in Europe they are a little more lax on alcohol consumption while pregnant than we are here in the states. And I know that light drinking may not affect your growing fetus but it’s too important and not proven beyond a doubt to take the chance.

When you consume alcohol while pregnant, so does your baby. In case you were wondering what effects alcohol can have on your baby, here are a few issues; your baby can have birth defects (heart, brain and other organs), vision or hearing problems, be born prematurely, be born at a low birth weight, have learning disabilities, sleeping and sucking problems, speech and language delays and behavioral problems. If that all seems worth the risk, than I guess, by all means, as long as they can balance later on in life, go for that cocktail. I’ll pass.

As time goes on, we learn the health hazards of more and more things. People used to think cigarettes were fine. Then they realized, hey, nicotine is addictive, tar is just plain bad for your lungs and lung cancer is a horrible price to pay to be able to puff on a cancer stick. Then we learned that smoking while pregnant causes preemies, increased chances of miscarriage and stillbirths, low birth weights and a higher chance of developing respiratory problems. People ignored the warnings believing a little smoke wouldn’t really hurt anyone. Come on, women had been smoking while pregnant for years.


Well, my mom smoked while she was pregnant with me. Just a little bit, she assures me. She also assures me that she didn’t know any better. But I can assure you that I was born almost 2 months early, I weighed barely 4 pounds and I still have allergy issues. So, you tell me, if common sense tells you that something is bad for you while pregnant, would you still do it?

Did you have a glass of wine or more while pregnant? What are your thoughts on this study? 


Photo via Flickr/Roland Lakis

What do you think?

New British Study Says Moderate Drinking While Pregnant Is No Big Deal

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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  1. Jaime says:

    I completely changed everything I consumed just to try to get pregnant. After 10 years of trying, it seemed worth it to give up:gluten, dairy, citrus, tomatoes, sugar, caffeine and any trace of alcohol, as well as all the processed junk that goes into so many of the foods we as a society consume on a daily basis, including gmo and hormone altering substances. Doing this and having acupuncture helped me get pregnant in a mere 3 months, after 10 years of trying with regular doctors and fertility specialists. Now, here’s the best part…my birthing class teacher recommended a glass of wine in the last few weeks of pregnancy, and yes, I drank 1 or 2 glasses. My son is now 20 months old, and is the healthiest, heartiest little boy out of all the babies near his age. Having a few glasses of wine during your entire pregnancy, especially near the last month, is not nearly as damaging as all the artificial junk most people eat every day. Just sayin’.

  2. danielle says:

    I absolutely believe that drinking while pregnant is a very selfish act if you can’t sacrifice for nine months then how the hell are you ready to have a kid. Being a mother comes with sacrificing. I get sick to my stomach when I see pregnant women with a drink in their hand and I don’t sympathize or feel bad to tell them how disgusting and selfish they are. I believe if you wouldn’t put it in a babies bottle then don’t put it in your body while pregnant.

  3. Not a chance in hell. I cared far more about my baby than drinking. I didn’t even drink caffeine and I had maybe 3 or 4 carbonated beverages my entire pregnancy. I wouldn’t eat or drink anything that could affect my baby in any way. I cut out sugars like cookies, ice cream, cake, ect. I got rid of chips, and other snack food like that. Cold turkey for it all and I have stayed that way so I can set a good example to my son on healthy eating. I also lost all of the 35lbs I gained during pregnancy in a few months and I feel great and have so much more energy and sleep so much better. People who drank or drink while preggo shouldn’t have kids because obviously they care more about themselves than the child and that is not what being a parent is about.

  4. Christina says:

    I didn’t even read the article because I don’t care about what it says. You shouldn’t drink while pregnant…Its not safe. Its not worth the risk. I would never/ have never drank while pregnant. If someone I knew was drinking while pregnant I would say something. This is just one of those topics I feel strongly about.

  5. I had one 4 ounce glass in late 2nd trimester. Had it with a steak at a dinner.

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