DWP: Drinking While Pregnant. Is This the New DUI?

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According to this article excessively drinking while pregnant could soon be illegal in the UK. 

When I first read this article, it seemed a no brainer. Women shouldn’t drink heavily while pregnant. Right? Not unless they wanted to risk the baby having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) punches holes in the brain’s ability to process information and reshapes the child’s face. Because of the low rate of testing, most children and especially most adults with an alcohol-related birth defect will never be diagnosed, but that doesn't mean it isn't an issue. It’s estimated that FAS is prevalent in about 2 to every 100 live births.

This is a conversation that has been a hot topic over the years. Back in June 2012, a Denmark Study was referenced here. This study concluded that 5-year-olds whose mothers drank “low to moderate levels of alcohol (between one to eight drinks a week) during early pregnancy showed no ill effects.” 

I’m not a doctor or a scientist but even I can use common sense to know that a 5-year-old’s brain is still developing. This study is absolutely ridiculous. Who is to say that the effects of alcohol consumption are all going to be seen at such a young age? 

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Another study a year later seemed to support this same argument. This study revealed that children of women who drank moderate amounts of alcohol while pregnant didn’t appear to have neurodevelopment problems when it comes to balance.

Balance. Really? Did you expect the child to walk around staggering like a drunk? And if they didn’t they were a-OK? Even the study’s researchers seemed to question their results. 

When I was pregnant I received a list of things not to do. A few that were mentioned: no more than one cup of caffeine a day, no eating deli meat, no relaxing in a hot tub, and no tanning. 

These were items that risked the health of my unborn fetus. Caffeine and deli meat had to be the hardest things for me to give up or limit. I remember my husband bringing home a huge sub and I could smell the meat – tempting me to just take one bite. 

But I didn’t do it. Why? Because one slight impulse from me could affect my baby for the rest of his life. I couldn’t be that selfish. After all, being a mother comes with sacrifices.

If you can limit caffeine or a hot tub dip for nine months, why couldn’t you give up that weekly glass of wine?

{ MORE: Losing a Twin During Pregnancy }

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The most harmful exposures to a fetus are categorized as “teratogens”. Teratogens can cause serious malformations in a developing fetus.  Well known teratogens are lead, mercury, and radiation. Another listed teratogen we are all familiar with is also the most common – alcohol. So you won’t go tanning, but you’ll throw back a few beers a week?

Anchorage Daily News just released an article this week featuring four mothers who shared their stories about drinking and pregnancy. Their focus is drinking before you find out you’re pregnant. I’m not questioning this, as it happens to the best of us.

But no amount of studies could ever convince me to drink frequently while pregnant. Nor will it make me feel better about it. The risk, however low it may be, is just not worth it. I might have two glasses of wine throughout the nine months – but even that’s pushing it. 

Its almost like playing “Drinking While Pregnant: Russian Roulette”. I wouldn’t and couldn’t risk it. I’d never be able to live with myself if I knowingly posed the risk to my baby. 

Do you think that knowingly drinking alcohol is cause for criminalization? What if the baby is reported to have FAS? Does that change your mind? I think it is worth thinking about.

What do you think?

DWP: Drinking While Pregnant. Is This the New DUI?

Peyton Pryce has worked in the learning and development industry for the past 11 years - the least interesting thing about her. She is raising a smart, sarcastic and fun little boy. On top of having a full-time job and being a mother, Peyton works hard to support her husband and country as a military wife. Never one lacking an opinion, her friends seek out her advice about parenting, budgeting, cooking, or almost anything. Peyton comes from a large family, with over 11 siblings or in-laws an ... More

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7 comments

  1. This is sort of a touchy subject with me…
    Wishing I didn’t have to admit this fact about myself…but just before my third pregnancy I was what most people would consider an alcoholic, I was also going through a very stressful time so I fell back on the alcohol as a stress reliever. I drank heavily quite a bit never noticed anything different with my body ( not even that I had missed my menstrual cycle ). Until one day a friend said “dang girl you been packing on the pounds” I thought about it for a couple days and then something dawned upon me I hadn’t started in a while…so to the store I went and bought a test came home and took it right away and the results were….pregnant…omg what have I done I thought and called the OB right away they got me in and I was 5 months pregnant the next two days I began to show like no other. The doctor said I had made it through the most difficult phases of the pregnancy and to stop drinking at once as I had did as soon as I read that stick… Happily and luckily to say I had an amazing beautiful little girl weighing 8.1 and nothing wrong with her at all she is now going to be 3 and she is smarter than a whip…(no kidding) she is perfectly normal as the doctors say, some women are just lucky enough to survive that horrible fear of fetal alcohol syndrome. To all of you whom think a glass of wine or a small glass of beer is going to hurt you child bravo for you. But just keep in mind every mother is different from the next and you never know what risk lie beyond you or your unborn child(ren) best of luck to all the lovely mothers out there and I hope my story helped someone out there.

  2. mommy nhoj says:

    I would not take chances. I would say, respect the little one inside. Maybe you’ll be fine with a glass or two but how about the little one inside? That’s just me. 🙂

  3. LIZ says:

    some studies say yes and some not, but i was so scare to have any glass

  4. Sue says:

    I don’t know if it makes any difference, but she was referring to homemade wine.

  5. Sue says:

    I heard from a very wise woman a teacup of wine each day won’t hurt anyone.

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