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