Drinking in Pregnancy: Is Science or Emotion Guiding You?

Alcohol and pregnancy
Different moms, different approaches

When I was pregnant with my son, my personal approach to drinking was this: sparkling water for the first trimester and a half (compensated for by an extra helping of dessert), and nice full sips of my husband’s drink or my own occasional half glass for the rest of pregnancy.

For some reason, every time I’d consider alcohol before the middle of pregnancy, I’d think of the tiny sesame seed-sized embryo working overtime to grow its billions of nerve cells or get its four heart chambers divided and pumping and the whole thing just seemed to sensitive. After that, with all organ systems go, I knew my mango-sized baby wouldn’t be fazed by some Chardonnay.

Of course that’s a pretty unscientific rationale — my approach had more to do with what felt right to me. No one can really say for sure what the exact effects of alcohol are on a fetus. Then again, that could be said for a lot of the foods we eat and the environmental exposures we (and therefore our babies) unwittingly cross paths with every day while pregnant.

This month, Babble’s Special Issue,  Alcohol and Pregnancy: The latest science gives you different perspectives on the question of drinking in pregnancy. In my column, I report on the latest research supporting the moderate stance towards alcohol in pregnancy, and several personal essays are also included from moms who either did or didn’t feel okay having alcohol while expecting.

It’s a comprehensive look at a very personal question. There’s something for everyone in here so please check it out.