Wine and pregnancy has been a hotly-debated issue for a very long time. Some people say it’s alright to have a drink during pregnancy while others strongly warn against drinking any alcohol whatsoever.
While you might feel okay about having a glass of wine, I would strongly recommend against it. Why? I was always taught that it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have a glass of wine and it doesn’t affect your child, then what have you gained? Nothing but a moment of pleasure.
But if you drink during pregnancy and your child ends up with a problem, then you will feel extremely sorry for your decision to test your luck.
To date, there are no absolutely certain conclusions regarding alcohol and pregnancy. Both sides have doctors that support their point of view and both sides have followers. The only difference is that if drinkers are wrong in their beliefs, then there is a huge problem. Consider this: If those who believe not drinking to be the right choice, then there are no added problems.
The Wine Drinkers Point of View
The Rocky Mountain News posted an article about alcohol and pregnancy in 2006. It created quite a stir of controversy. In the article “Timing plays crucial role in drinking’s effect on pregrancy,” Dr. David Manchester, a medical doctor, states that for “people who don’t have a drinking problem but had a good time and were a little tipsy, there’s no real evidence to say your pregnancy is at increased risk.”
Other wine drinkers agree that alcohol can harm the fetus but argue that there is no proof of a limited amount of consumption causing problems. The conclusion, at least from the Women Wine Critics Board, is that “when it comes to drinking, evidence demands interpretations and decisions require judgment. Women are capable of choosing for themselves.”
While women are capable of choosing for themselves, there is a strong risk against another human being. Regardless of whether safe drinking is completely proven or not, the fact is that it possibly hurts your child’s health. Is that a possibility you want to risk?
The No-Alcohol Perspective
According to Becky Hand, a registered dietician, “when you drink alcohol, your baby is drinking it too. Therefore, you should avoid all forms of alcohol when you are pregnant. This includes beer, wine and hard liquor. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, it quickly reaches the baby through the blood stream. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, lower birth weight, physical deformities, mental retardation, and motor development complications. There is no data to support a safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Therefore, medical experts recommend avoiding alcohol completely during your pregnancy.”
Any kind of alcohol – whether it is wine, beer, or liquor – makes its way through the blood stream and to a baby. WineIntro.com tells us that “decades of research has been done now on the very serious affects wine has on a growing fetus. Alcohol can affect the new child – even in small amounts.”
It doesn’t really matter how much you drink, according to these experts. You’ll always pose a risk to your unborn child.
Dr. Alan Greene warns that “alcohol is now recognized as the most common major destructive environmental agent to which a fetus is likely to be exposed. It is directly responsible for 10-20% of mental deficiency with IQ's in the 50-80 range, and one in six cases of cerebral palsy.”
It’s a sobering thought. Your decisions during pregnancy have the chance of shattering a life that is yet to be born and potentially harm somebody for the next 80+ years. The risks are proven and you can certainly avoid them, but the choice to drink during pregnancy is really up to you.
There are many other aspects to worry about when you are pregnant. Many processed foods are loaded with chemicals that could hurt your unborn baby. While some people conclude that there is nothing we can do about this issue but to just hope for the best, others have decided to do the best they can to ensure a healthy life for their child.
When you are pregnant, it is your job to do everything within your power to give your child the best chance for a healthy life. Every mother wants a healthy child, and many are doing the best that they can to ensure that these days. Unfortunately, others would rather roll the dice and hope that they come out winners.
Do Your Best
If you are unsure whether or not wine is the best choice of drink to consume while you’re pregnant, then why not stay on the safe side?
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding alcohol or other harmful substances from reaching your child, you will feel great about your efforts. You won’t know for sure whether you could have had another drink or two when you were pregnant, but when you have a healthy son or daughter, you won’t care.
Dr. Green points out that “the choices we make do make a difference. Each decision creates ripples that travel forward throughout our lives. We have many, many opportunities to create long-lasting positive influences for our children. Pregnant women, in particular, can give their children a tremendous gift by avoiding alcohol while their babies grow within them.”
By playing it safe you will be setting the tone for the rest of your life. Even when your child is born, it will always be in your best interest to give up some of your desires in order to provide a healthy lifestyle for your family. It’s a habit worth getting used to now.
Is a glass of wine guaranteed to hurt your child’s growth? No. But there is a chance. That chance, no matter how slight it is, isn’t worth the risk. Until doctors are able to prove that wine does not affect a child’s healthy development, always opt against taking a drink while you are pregnant.