Is One Drink Okay During Pregnancy? A New Study Says Yes

It seems like it's the question that will never have a “real” answer: Is one drink ok during pregnancy or not? So many women, doctors, and cultures have different answers to the eternal question about the safety of drinking during pregnancy. Some doctors say drinking–even one drink–is absolutely not worth any risk of potential harm to your baby. Other doctors say a sip of wine here and there is good for everyone. (A happy mama is a healthy mama, right?)

Culture is also a huge factor in how drinking is viewed during pregnancy. Some countries, like France or Britain, encourage mothers to have the occasional glass of wine, even viewing it as a healthy practice to help keep her relaxed and encourage blood circulation (although the culture is changing there as “rules” about pregnancy become more strict). Other countries, like the United States, have a much more strict view of alcohol in any form during pregnancy. 

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And I don't know about you, but there's something about being told that I “shouldn't” have something during pregnancy that makes me crave it even more. I don't even drink that much when I'm not pregnant. But when I'm pregnant, suddenly, all I can think about is a margarita or a chilled glass of wine. 

According to one new study, if you're anything like me and want just one glass of something adult during your pregnancy, there may be good news after all. For all you preggos out there who are currently craving just one glass of wine or beer or maybe festive Halloween cocktail, a new study says having just one drink during pregnancy may be totally fine. 

Image via Flickr/ Jamie Street

The study was a review of over 5,000 existing studies on drinking during pregnancy to gather and condense all of the available research and results to try to come up with a better answer on if even one drink is ok during pregnancy. The result? Researchers essentially said the evidence seems to show “light drinking” might not be that dangerous during pregnancy. The problem? There's no clear definition for what “light drinking” actually is either.  

Overall, the study concluded that “we found limited evidence for a causal role of light drinking in pregnancy, compared with abstaining, on most of the outcomes examined.” The outcomes that the researchers looked at included premature birth, stillbirth, and low birthweight. So overall, the research seemed to suggest that there isn't a clear difference between drinking no alcohol at all and “light” drinking on those pregnancy outcomes. The study did point out, however, that there wasn't any evidence to suggest that light drinking benefited moms or babies either. Point being? A few glasses of wine over nine months might not hurt your baby, but it probably isn't going to help him or her either. 

Of course, like all studies, I would encourage you to take this one with a grain of salt. Consider that it's just one study and that every woman and pregnancy is different. For me, the controversy and potential risks of drinking even just one glass of wine or beer during pregnancy kind of took the fun out of it anyway, so it never felt worth it. 

How about you? Will you indulge in even one glass of wine during your pregnancy? 

What do you think?

Is One Drink Okay During Pregnancy? A New Study Says Yes

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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1 comment

  1. Nicole says:

    This article is completely inaccurate. So they only look at 3 outcomes- low birth weight, stillbirth and premature birth…. did anyone think to follow any cases long term to see if any of these children developed the 100% preventable form of brain damage known as fetal alcohol syndrome? A mental disability a child can ONLY develop from a mother drinking while pregnant? And shall we mention that there is no proven safe amount of alcohol to consume in pregnancy? An article like this is awful to be on a website like everyday family because you are giving out false information that could actually lead to the brain damage of a child and life long complications for that child and for the family. All because you wanted to, what? Be able to be with the “cool moms” and give in on a craving for a margarita or holiday cocktail if you REALLY wanted one? Come on! You have to be more responsible than that as a company and as an RN. Do some research to see the escalating numbers of children with fetal alcohol syndrome and piece that together with the ridiculous kind of advice given like in this article and other places. The CDC doesn’t make statements just for kicks and giggles or to ruin people’s lives, but because they were and are trying to protect the children who would be born to these pregnant moms who are learning from sources such as this that it’s supposedly okay to drink “lightly” while pregnant. False.

    Do some actual evidence based research that does long term studies. Go to sites such as MOFAS and read about Fetal alcohol syndrome and then make an EDUCATED decision instead of an impulsive decision based on a craving for alcohol. The rest of your child’s life depends on it.

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