Pregnancy takes a significant toll on a woman’s body and mind. It requires numerous sacrifices, including a total lifestyle change. Complete exclusion of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is one of the changes women must embrace. Yet, this area still requires more research to answer all the arising questions. For example, do we know how much alcohol is bad for the baby? Should women avoid all alcohol? How about an occasional wine glass after dinner? Are there any exceptions to the no-drinking rule, and how can we trust to follow them? Here’s what we’ve learned so far about drinking wine or any other alcohol during pregnancy.
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much
We all know the rule on alcohol use during pregnancy. It’s a big no-no for women to even think about that. Yet, there are a few questions that often receive vague answers from different specialists and even moms themselves. For instance, there seems to be an ongoing debate about drinking small amounts of alcohol like wine or beer while pregnant. Is it acceptable? Is it tolerated in the healthcare system? Can it be acceptable in society? Most importantly, should it be accepted? Or, perhaps, it’s just a myth that we all hear but are never willing to put to a test. Let’s find out!
We all know that pregnant women should avoid alcohol at all costs. Yet, is there an exception? After all, there are so many types of alcoholic drinks on the market. Surely, some will be worse or better than others. Wine, perhaps, is a more tolerable option. Well, not exactly.
For the most part, the science community is unanimous on the developmental challenges of babies due to alcohol consumption. However, there is still less data or understanding on what amount of alcohol, if any,can be considered a safe amount. Thus far, health care providers know for certain that alcohol may lead to birth defects.
It’s also known that risks rise with the increase in alcohol consumption. Most studies will indicate the daily consumption of two and more drinks as a threatening number. Yet, other studies claim that any alcohol during pregnancy can jeopardize a baby’s development. Additionally, some health studies distinguish wine from the rest of alcoholic drinks.
Is It Safe for a Pregnant Woman to Have a Glass of Wine?
The thing is, wine is still an alcoholic drink. So no matter how safe or even healthy it is believed to be on average, the risks are still higher for pregnant women. As there is no known safe amount of alcohol a woman can consume with no worries for a baby, wine should remain in the risk category, along with other drinks.
Sure, nine months can seem like a long term, but it really doesn’t. You won’t notice how time flies by, and you can end your dry season with a nice glass of your favorite wine. It may be a celebratory drink for prioritizing your baby’s health and staying risk-free throughout this time.
The Dangers of Drinking While Pregnant
Although we don’t know how much alcohol can affect babies’ and mothers’ health, we do know the dangers of binge drinking or excessive drinking while expecting a baby. Choosing to drink alcohol during pregnancy comes with severe consequences, like about 6% chances of miscarriage. These are the examples of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder a child may face:
- abnormally low birth weight;
- behavior or learning problems;
- birth defects like facial abnormalities;
- poor memory;
- attention deficit.
On the whole, the alcohol spectrum disorders can vary and be different in every case. However, usually, it is a combination of several symptoms. The only commonality among these cases is the irreversibility of the symptoms. Fetal alcohol syndrome will stay with children for the rest of their lives.
Keep in mind that such cases are the extreme version of things. Of course, such a syndrome won’t develop after a few glasses of wine.
Wine During Pregnancy – Final Thoughts
Women have to make many sacrifices to raise a child inside them. Those rules exist for a reason. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right? So, pregnant women can postpone their wine days till after the pregnancy. As the field of alcohol consumption among pregnant women is still lacking research and studies, it’s safer to avoid any alcohol altogether.