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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.

Comments (53)

01.08.06 at 11:04 PM

I can tell you that - at least in the past - French doctors always thought that the best for an expecting mother was to be relaxed and happy. So having a good glass of wine to accompany a nice meal had never been forbidden. While I was pregnant, I did not stop drinking wine. I just limited myself to 1 glass and avoided drinking on an empty stomach.

Melanie wrote:
01.09.06 at 3:59 AM

As a wonman who just entered her second trimester and is dying for a glass of wine, thank you!!!!!

el Greco wrote:
01.09.06 at 2:48 PM

This is important news and a welcome relief for pregnant women across the country. Please note that drinking wine prior to pregnacy is a leading cause of getting pregnant!!!

enoch choi wrote:
01.09.06 at 10:56 PM

the american college of obstetrica & gynecology has not determined a level of alcohol consumption that's safe in pregnancy. i'd ask your doc before you offer Ruth that glass...

01.10.06 at 5:33 PM

Thank you for this interesting post. Yes, as a French immigrant I've always been a bit baffled by the very radical approach to alcohol and pregnancy many Americans seem to have. A glass of wine once in a while will probably hurt less than some of the transfat-hormone-ladden food you find at the local grocery store in almost every aisle.

Onyx wrote:
01.11.06 at 10:45 AM

I honestly always had this feeling of knowing it was ok to drink wine while pregnant, and now I have proof. Thanks !

Kelly wrote:
01.11.06 at 1:15 PM

I had indulged in a glasses of wine or two during both of my pregnancies and my children have turned out just fine. Go for it, Ruth!

Ruth wrote:
01.16.06 at 8:37 AM

If I only get one glass a night it better be a good one!

LP wrote:
01.26.06 at 1:27 PM

Well, after the first trimester I have a glass of wine every night, sometimes two (occaisionally not at all). In the third trimester, not as much, only b/c the baby is so large, and nothing going into the stomach feels good!

I'm 23 weeks pregnant with my fourth child. All of my children are exceptionally brilliant, normal, healthy, wonderful children whose mother is also healthy, active and takes care of herself. The scare tactics have not worked on this American, and they shouldn't work on any other responsible adult either.

Charlene wrote:
01.26.06 at 8:57 PM

You're actually overestimating the risk as reported in the study by a factor of 1,000.

The risk is NOT one to three percent per 100,000. It's one to three individuals per 100,000. Three percent per 100,000 would be 3,000. Three per 100,000 is, well, three.

However, I would note that up to 30% of aboriginal children in some Canadian communities have FAS. If FAS were as rare as this study purports, this would literally be impossible. Something else (alcoholic cachexia? Differences in metabolism of alcohol?) must be going on.

Alder wrote:
01.26.06 at 9:41 PM

Oops. I never was very good at math.

Thanks for the comments.

New Mom wrote:
02.05.06 at 11:02 AM

I have been dying for a glass of wine, and like many women, I assumed it was forbidden. If the french women can do it, so can American women. Thank you for the truth!!!

Anonymous wrote:
02.07.06 at 1:00 PM

Um, hello? Where is there any credible science posted in ths article? It is absolutley UNTRUE that "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." Show me one.

Alder wrote:
02.07.06 at 2:15 PM

Welll.... How about the book "To Your Health" by Drs. Whitman and Lipp (1995); the unnamed study by Dr. Michael Samuels; the again unnamed study "of 33,300 California women showed that even though 47% drank moderately during their pregnancies that none of their babies met the criteria for Fetal Alcoholic Syndrome;" the 1993 study by Ruth Little and Clarence Weinberg in the American Journal of Epidemiology; the book "Alcohol and the Fetus" by Drs. Rosset and Wiener; etc. etc.

These are all studies (or books based on studies) that were authored by medical and research doctors. Sure some of them are unnamed, but the others you can go look up and see for yourself whether they are credible science or not.

I'm choosing to take this article at face value but that means nothing. Everyone must make their own assessment, ideally in collaboration with their family doctor.

Alder wrote:
02.09.06 at 11:06 PM

A NOTE TO READERS:

Please do not post comments on this story soliciting medical advice regarding alcohol and pregnancy. Please, for the sake of your own health, seek advice from a medical professional, not from me or from other readers of this article.

Any posts of this nature will be removed.

Alder

lp wrote:
03.20.06 at 3:19 PM

Just thought I'd add this link to mothers searching through the hysteria....

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/FAS/FAS.html

BROWN wrote:
05.01.06 at 11:43 AM

I WANTED TO SAY THAT I HAVE HAD FOUR CHILDREN AND DRINKED WITH THREE AND THEY ALL WERE FINE ACTUALLY THERE SKIN WAS CLEARER

Amy wrote:
05.21.06 at 1:26 PM

My O.B. told me to have one glass of wine or a beer a night during the last month, because it would help me sleep. I did, and it did help me sleep except for having to get up to pee more! LOL My daughter is 2 and is exceptionally bright - spoke her first full sentence "mmmm, I like that!" just after turning a year old. So obviously she has no problems from that one glass a night, however, other than drinking before I found out I was pregnant (I found out before I even missed my period though), I did obstain throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I'm now pregnant with my second, am 20 weeks along, and think I'll have one glass of wine or a beer maybe once a week or so until that last month.

I'm still a tad paranoid, but I REALLY don't think it's going to do anything. I'm otherwise VERY healthy, eat a lot of organic and whole foods, and am very careful with cleaning supplies and paint fumes, because honestly, I think chemicals probably pose more of a health threat to a fetus than a little alcohol once in a while.

This is of course my very unprofessional opinion, so drink at your own risk, but most importantly, be happy, healthy, and enjoy your pregnancy!!

Henry wrote:
05.21.06 at 10:30 PM

There are several flaws to the reasoning in this article. My main point of contention, however, is the articles definition of "negative effects." The author rants about how drinking a few glasses of wine does not lead to "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome." However, fetal alcohol syndrome is an extreme case; moderate alcohol consumption might still lead to cognitive impairment, just not mental retardation.
Additionally, the effects of alcohol on a fetus will be dependent on the trimester of pregnancy. Drinking would likely be most detrimental during the period between the first and second trimesters because that is when the developing brain is most vulnerable.
So, Amy's practicioner might have realized that it wasn't so dangerous for an almost fully developed fetus, and thus she was told that a beer per night to help her sleep would be fine.

Anonymous wrote:
10.25.06 at 2:38 PM

This article doesn't contain checkable references, nor does it specifically define negative effects, but it is true that there is little evidence supporting the idea that light drinking (defined as one or two standard American drinks per week) during pregnancy causes harm. The British Royal College of Obstetricians offers and interesting statement on the subject here:

http://www.rcog.org.uk/resources/Public/pdf/alcohol_pregnancy_rcog_statement5a.pdf

Note that a British unit of alcohol is equivalent to one half pint of regular strength beer or one small glass (4 oz.) of 9% by volume wine.

Of course, it has been repeatedly proven that regular maternal drinking (defined as two standard drinks per day throughout pregnancy) and binge drinking(five or more alcoholic drinks at one time) leaves an infant vulnerable to a spectrum of neurological disorders and thus, must be avoided; however, a body of scientific evidence exists refuting the idea that light drinking during pregnancy causes harm to the fetus.

Women do deserve the facts as they decide whether or not to drink during pregnancy.

kathy wrote:
10.26.06 at 8:44 PM

The title of the article alone should warn you that this is not an objective writer. "The Lies" we've been told? Not a suggestion that perhaps the data has been misinterpreted or new data has produced a new set of assumptions? No, you've been lied to by a patriarchal system that attempts to control women. The article is absurd in it's intent.

It is alarming how many women have posted to this and other sites that they now feel free to drink alcohol while pregnant because a wine critic posted an article that it is safe.

Pregnant women are warned of possible risks because we simply are not sure how much alcohol will harm an unborn child or at what times during the baby's development it is safe to drink. Every woman metabolizes alcohol differently therefore you are warned of the possible risks.

As several posters have already pointed out--if there is any risk at all to the baby then why would you undertake the action?

Anonymous wrote:
10.27.06 at 1:34 PM

Kathy,

I agree with you that it is frightening that people are posting that it is okay to drink because of an article posted by a wine critic. If a woman wants to drink lightly during her pregnancy, it is incumbent upon her to do her own research and get her learn on about the subect. As I stated before, there is plenty of research supporting the idea that one or two standard sized drinks per week will not harm the child; however, in order to take ownership for our choices, we must seek answers for ourselves, rather than listening to the government OR a wine critic.

Alder wrote:
10.27.06 at 2:00 PM

I don't materially disagree with either Kathy or the anonymous poster here, but in response to Kathy I do have this to say:

People make every decision about their body based purely on their own sense of what is right, whether or not that sense has been informed by ANYTHING other than their own fantasy.

Most women's decisions not to drink at all during their pregnancy is based only on some cultural story we have about the horrors of birth defects linked to alcohol. All of my friends who are pregnant or have given birth in the last 6 years who actually went to their doctors for advice instead of just swallowing the cultural story were told that a couple of glasses of wine per week were perfectly fine during pregnancy.

The point of all of this is not that you should take health advice from a wine critic, but that the "conventional wisdom" is based not on current science but on folklore.

Kathy wrote:
10.28.06 at 7:31 PM

Alder,

In essence, I agree with you. Every thing you put into your body during a pregnancy has to be a personal, carefully considered decision. (Please don't take that literally, you know that I mean substances that may have risks involved.) But my ire with the article is the whole premise that this has been some conspiracy to scare women into a specific course of action. If you read the labels on alcohol it just tells you that there is a risk. That is necessary information.

Rogov states, 'Well respected wine writer Janis Robinson, has declared that "in this our male dominated society, men feel entitled to lecture pregnant women on how they should best discharge their responsibilities to their unborn children." '

I find that beyond absurd. First of all, a well respected wine writer (no offense) is about as qualified to make that statement as a well respected welder. This isn't about lies to control women--it's about informed decision making. See, we agree on that point. Take a peek at the posts on two or three boards that are discussing this issue and see how many women are on there saying this article is proof that they can safely drink during pregnancy. That is my concern. I would have been all for an article that said, "Hey, maybe we were wrong and moderate drinking could be safe. Here's the information, you make the decision." I think the article is written in a very poor manner and many of the responses reflect that in a most disturbing manner.

Sara wrote:
04.26.07 at 4:10 PM

One glass of wine each night makes me feel normal and relaxed which is MUCH better for my baby then feeling anxious and unhappy! Each to their own.

lisa wrote:
05.19.07 at 8:50 AM

Hi
Last week I had my 26 week appointment and they had a social worker waiting for me after my appointment. It was all because I marked that I had drank before I knew I was pregnant.I clearly said that once I knew I was I stopped.I showed her that on the survey, I was so annoyed and was also nervous because I had no idea why she wanted to talk to me,I had to wait over 30 minutes to meet with her and I thought maybe there was something wrong with my last test, ultra sound and they needed to tell me with a counselor. Once they told me why I was mad.. She proceeded to ask my if I was being abused etc.. Paused between each question and then lectured me on drinking while pregnant. I told her I am not drinking and that anyone who drinks in general will drink before taking a pregnancy test. You can't expect ever child bearing woman to not drink until she knows she is not pregnant. Just thought I would tell you what happened to me.. now do you think I would ever tell the truth and let them know I do have a glass of wine once in a while. no way..

natasha wrote:
05.23.07 at 2:18 PM

The most bothersome thing about these posts is the fact that the anti-alcohol during pregnancy writers seem to feel that they will somehow be responsible for raising other people's offspring. If a women decides to have one, two, three, or four glasses of wine per week-that is her choice-not anyone elses-and she and her family will live with the consequences (if there even are any). People should also look closely at the barrage of reports that suggest women should completely refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy-who is writing the report and what is their motive? It is quite common for research to lump the 5 drink/week pregnant woman with the 15/week pregnant woman. There also seems to be little representation of other possible habits/lifestyle choices the mother may be engaging in that may increase her baby's risk for problems. As well, many women who drink during their pregnancy will often underrepresent the amount of alcohol they are consuming to avoid grief from their doctor-or for fear of getting social workers involved.
It seems to be easier to say don't drink at all, rather than give women informed choices

DeeLiteFool wrote:
09.18.07 at 6:02 PM

I'm about 17 weeks pregnant (16 1/2, close enough, right?), and this is my first pregnancy. I drank before I knew I was pregnant, what I feel to be a little heavily some evenings, and so as soon as I found out I was carrying a life, I definitely stopped immediately. After getting used to the idea of being pregnant and absorbing all the new information being given/told/thrown at me (in a good way), I am curious to ask my doctor if I can in fact have a glass of wine or two a week with my dinner. I honestly don't see why not, mostly because wine, especially RED WINE is beneficial for your heart and circulatory system in resonable quantities. I also have developed a slight heart murmur during my pregnancy, which I have been told is fairly common due to all the fluids and extra blood that your body takes on, so I wonder if the very occasional glass of red wine may HELP me/be safe for me.

Also, on top of just my general feeling (which I plan on confirming with my doctor just in case), my father is from Torino, Italy, and I have never seen/been to a dinner where there was no wine present, either here or in Italy. The difference is that in Europe, they have a more controlled way of drinking, that is to say they do not binge drink like we do here in the US... I think studies from Europe may show different information.

kat Bode wrote:
09.21.07 at 2:55 PM

hey there,

I work at high end wine shop here in Nashville, TN. I am about 16 weeks pregnant and I think it's a pity that most americans and (the so called medical professionals) think drinking wine or having beer is dangerous is silly! Yes, if you pounding Jack on the rocks, or having a BOTTLE of wine a night then I would worry. My sister who lives in Sweden for the past 25 years has had three amazing and brilliant children and drank all through out her pregnancy. I would say ANYTHING should be not be abused but having glasses of wine a week or beer is JUST FINE!!!

I too, agree on the fatty foods smoke and stress or so much more dangerous than drinking..

Mel wrote:
03.03.08 at 2:08 PM

I am a mother of two and i have conflicting thoughts on this topic. While i don't think that an occasional drink now and then can hurt the baby, i can't speak for everyone. My thoughts are, its obvious that no one has all the facts figured out on this topic and it has not been established how "risky" any drinking can be for any one person during pregnancy, for those women who are willing to sacrifice alcohol for nine months for the sake of their child, GOOD FOR THEM! And for those who choose to have a drink or two, be responsible and good luck.

Diana wrote:
05.21.08 at 1:49 PM

I just came across this article in May 2008. I thought the article was wonderful. I am astounded at the irate rantings of so many people about drinking during pregnancy, as if they are research scientist in the field. While I have complete empathy on the children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, it is hardly common. Do all you people who rant on about drinking during pregnancy think that the world has survived so far doing things your way? Woman have comsumed wine, and other alcohols for centuries during pregnancy. It wasn't until the AMA decided to put it's two cents in that it all of a sudden became tantimount to child abuse. Get real!!!! I know many older people whose mothers customerily drank during their pregnancies who are doctors, lawyers, scientist, teachers, etc. Not one of them has any form of physical or mental defect from their mother's social drinking while pregnant with them. A woman who is a true blue alcoholic is usually drinking instead of eating, I would think that the malnutrition to the fetus was probably more harmful than the alcohol, although I do agree that alcohol to that excess would be bad for the baby. It's not that great for the mother either. I read in one of the posts about a woman who was intimidated by a welfare worker because she put on a form that she drank before she was pregnant. Are you serious?? Do we live in natzi Germany for God's sake? That is ridiculous, and I would think violates her constitutional rights. For all the women who think having a drink or two during pregnancy is such a crime, then don't do it, that's your businees, but leave everyone else to their own choices will you. I have three grown children, who are all intelligent, hard working, good looking people. I drank in moderation during all three of my pregnancies, as did my mother. She was from England and this was certainly customary to her. She was a great mom and loved us very much. I'm sure she would be appalled that anyone was suggesting that she was a horrible, irresponsible mother because she drank some while pregnant with her children. The decision about drinking in any amount being harmful to pregnancy is certainly something new on the scene as far as the history of mankind goes. Isn't is strange that drinking during pregnancy has been the norm for a great deal of the world's population for several thousand years, and yet somehow we're not all a bunch of blithering idiots? Amazing. Cheers!!!

Dana wrote:
07.10.08 at 2:46 PM

I stumbled upon this article by accident and I'm not sure if anyone will read this, but I HAD to add my 2 cents.

First off, this article gives NO scientific data!! The article cites an article but fails to provide any identifying information for readers to follow up with. Secondly, when this was brought up the first time a poster cites a book written in 1995. That information is well over 10 years old adn in the medical world that makes it really old.

Babies (Fetuses, whatever you would like to call them) are MOST vulnerable at 3-8 weeks gestation. Hence, the problem. During that time is when mom does not know she's pregnant, so continues the use of alcohol and the like. This DOES NOT mean that late term alcohol consumption, doesn't impair your child as well. There are reasons that it is illegal to give a 2 year old a can a beer, this should hold true for the pre-8 month old inside of you.

For those of you that are saying how you are 'dying' for a drink, consider why you are 'dying' for a drink. Alcholism? Inability to handle stress? Poor coping mechanisms? Take your pick. I am hard pressed to find that you can't find a healthier outlet for de-stressing than a glass of wine/beer.

Just my 2 cents, but if there was even a .0000000001 chance of alcohol harming my unborn baby, I wouldn't drink it even if it was the last thing on earth.

Alder wrote:
07.10.08 at 2:55 PM

Dana,

Thanks for the comments. I think you can assume that most people who characterize themselves as "dying" for a drink are pretty much saying the same thing as the people who might be overheard to say that they were "dying" for a cheeseburger.

Your assertion that babies are most vulnerable during the first 3 to 8 weeks of gestation may in fact be true, but you must also be aware that most people (including ALL my friends who have recently had children) don't find out that they are pregnant until about the 5th or 6th week of gestation. And all of the people I know in that situation drank with moderation during that period, and none of their children have problems.

If a glass of wine or a beer during this time when so many women don't know they're pregnant was so damaging to the fetus, you would see massive numbers of damaged children in the population.

Diana wrote:
07.15.08 at 8:12 PM

There is so much info on both drinking and not drinking during pregnancy. I have an excellent doctor and he even told me the occasional glass of wine is okay when you are in your last trimester. He deliverers about 300 babies a year. I have had a glass of wine 2 days a week (Wed & Sun)as a treat to relax and all 3 of my children are perfectly healthy and excellent students all over 8lbs. I would really just suggest talking to your physician about it. There are so many other complications with pregnancies that if you have any risks or medical issues I would stay away but if you have a perfect pregnancy and the doc okay's a occassional glass of wine, enjoy.....

Angela wrote:
09.14.08 at 1:06 PM

My aunt's NEVER drank and followed all the rules with the first child and he was 3 months premature and had problems. Due to her anxiety/heart murmur, she was told with the second pregnancy that she should have a glass of wine each day for her HEALTH. That second child went full term and had NO problems. I myself have 2 very healthy children and drank (not too excessively) before I knew I was pregnant. They were/are both fine. With all of the positive health effects of red wine, I have to agree with the person who said that High Fructose Corn Syrup and Trans Fats etc are MUCH worse for you and your unborn child than a moderate amount of red wine. That being said, I still wouldn't have more than a few sips myself every now and then because I'm not a scientist and the unknown scares me.

jennifer wrote:
09.28.08 at 4:37 PM

i love this topic for one reason: it allows me to weed out people who are a)judgemental busybodies and b) don't comprehend basic data and research, let alone common sense. where do I stand? Let me put down my glass of champagne and tell you all about it. All I can tell you is that common sense has allowed me to have 1-2 drinks at any one time during my pregnancy and a little voice in my head (uh, that would be judgement, people) says 'that's enough'. I didn't need the AMA or some busybody to run my methods by. Give me a break.

Jessica wrote:
09.30.08 at 8:49 AM

Yes, my country (America) is filled with moralist judge-aholics who have no earthly idea of the actual contents of the data and studies regarding drinking during pregnancy. The mantra is just Hear, Repeat, Judge.

Did you know that scientists have not determined any safe level of sunshine, either? To say that no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been determined is essentially meaningless, but most people do not realize that.

Seriously, do what you want but quit the moralizing. The credible studies have found that even two glasses per day every day is not linked to an increased risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. I personally wouldn't drink that much while pregnant, but there it is.

A great book if you're interested in finding out what's behind the pronouncements, rather than just hearing them and using them to bludgeon others, is "The Panic-Free Pregnancy." Available on Amazon.

Rose wrote:
10.31.08 at 3:08 PM

My father died when my mother was 3 months pregnant with me. I am told that my mother drank (some times heavily) during her pregnancy with me. I was an honor role student in highschool!! My theory has always been that fetal alcohol syndrom appears in woman drink and do not eat! i.e., the fetus is receiving most of it's nourishment from alcohol. My mother had 4 other children and I'm sure prepared regular meals. I did not drink when I was pregnant with my child - but it was because, "I did not drink" - not out of fear.....

Rachael wrote:
11.10.08 at 3:39 PM

I have been stressing over this issue for weeks. I am an alcoholic, and was getting trashed- before I found out. Since then, i havent had ANY hard liquor (I am 19 weeks), but once a week have a few glasses of wine. Not to get drunk- just to have a drink or two. I have been soooo scared I have done some irreversible damage, but I feel a lot better after reading this... Thank you!

Alder wrote:
11.10.08 at 5:24 PM

Rachael,

Thanks for the comments. It's important that you understand that this article in no way constitutes medical advice, and you should really be making these decisions about how much you should drink in conjunction with your doctor. The fact that you are an alcoholic may mean that no amount of alcohol is safe for you to consume during pregnancy.

ml wrote:
01.26.11 at 10:05 AM

My mom had about an ounce of red wine per day because in Europe they believe it has health benefits. She carried twins to term with no complications and my twin sister and I were such mentally sharp kids. Honestly, I wouldn't have more than an ounce per day just to get the antioxidants. I have met kids with special needs, and the only kids that I have met with fetal alcohol syndrome have been kids whose moms were drunks.

Amanda wrote:
12.26.11 at 2:46 PM

I cant understand the notion that :if there could be any risk at all, why would you choose to do it?:

In that case, please do not drink from plastic containers, eat anything but fresh organic foods, drink anything but purified water or leave your house in fear of second/third hand smoke.

These also may in fact cause harm to your unborn child and can be based on published medical studies. Living in fear is silly and so is this assumption that reading the facts and choosing what is best for you is best for YOU and YOUR child. I'd love to see what some of these nay-sayers are eating and drinking and how serious they are about all the other aspects of pregnancy. JUST abstaining from alcohol doesn't make you a smarter or better parent. In the same way, choosing to drink responsibly even during pregnancy DOESN'T mean you don't care about your child.

Be cautious when reading all of these opinions and don't allow the anger of some to influence your choice during your pregnancy.

the young one wrote:
05.20.12 at 12:30 PM

All I can say is, who cares if there is a risk or not when it comes to consuming alcohol during pregnancy? It's just 9 months. Is it so hard to lay off alcohol for such a short period of time? If there's a risk of it towards the child, no matter how high or low the percentage is, why would you even do it? For your own selfish desire and temptation? Can't a child take priority for just 9 friggin months? Here's the thing. Our bodies are made so uniquely different. Maybe alcohol may not harm others, but could you give a 100% guarantee that you would be safe as well? The fact that people are selfish enough not to be able to withold JUST 9 months is ridiculous. You may feel smug if your baby comes out fine but you wouldn't be blowing on your trumpet if your alcohol consumption affected your child. Tsk tsk tsk...9 months and you can't even handle it. What a shame.

Devon wrote:
01.20.13 at 8:18 AM

I am 23 weeks along and have red wine on a regular basis. It calms me down and helps me sleep. I never have anything on an empty stomach and its always just red wine. I don't really feel like having anything hard is okay, but I do know red wine has health benefits and honestly the women who had babies in the 60's and 70's did major drugs and other things of the like, including women way before them and you don't necessarily see a crop of FAS-ridden adults running around. There is a large amount of ADHD and Autistic kids, etc. out there but there is also alot of bad vaccinations, overmedicated children and parents and misdiagnosis of kids that just don't get enough exercise or sleep, etc.

Drinking a decent amount of red wine during pregnancy along with some healthy food is alot better than giving your kids a bunch of pharmaceuticals, factory-made baby formula or Happy Meals that are now justified as healthy because they have apples included.

Some of you need to go to France, or any part of Europe. People there are more laid back and not so hypocritical. I got an earful from a woman knocking drinking wine while pregnant while she was literally drinking an espresso.

MChristian wrote:
10.19.13 at 8:41 PM

1. There is no evidence to support the idea that light to moderate drinking causes harm to the fetus.

2. There is no evidence to support the idea that light to moderate drinking is completely safe.

Both of those statements are true and many studies have drawn these conclusions in either direction, which basically reinforces the idea that no one can tell you anything for certain.

Just ask your doctor about it and take their advice.

Be my guest and abstain if you want to, but shut up about it when it comes to me and my child.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.