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01.08.2006

Wine and Pregnancy: The Facts

I've already spent the afternoon plugging a different set of posts on Tom Wark's Fermentation, but here I am again thanking him for pointing out another excellent bit of writing on the internet, this time about a very interesting and controversial subject: drinking and pregnancy. Tom points us to a post on the Women Wine Critics Board by Israeli wine critic Daniel Rogov (who, I believe is actually not a woman, for the record). Daniel presents a lot of very interesting information about the myths and facts surrounding alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The short story: there is plenty of medical research that backs the notion that even a couple glasses of wine a day DOES NOT lead to an increased likelihood of birth defects or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Essentially all the medically sound (there are plenty that were not) studies out there show that effects of alcohol on fetuses start at levels of consumption exceeding 4 or 5 glasses of wine or beer per day, and even then they only occur with a 1 to 3 percent frequency in every 100,000 births, and in those cases, primarily in women who have a history of alcohol abuse.

Of course, I wouldn't be comfortable with even a 3% chance that my baby would have problems, so when we're pregnant I'll make sure Ruth doesn't even hit the three-glasses-per-day point, but you can bet that I'll be serving her a glass with dinner.

I'm not a doctor, and the following does not constitute medical advice, but pregnant wine lovers around the world: relax a little. Read the full story.

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