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Drinking During Pregnancy: Another Study Says A Drink or Two a Week is Fine. Will You Go For It?

It seems that yet another study has come out saying that light drinking during pregnancy is safe for developing fetuses. The study monitored children of women who drank 1-2 units of alcohol throughout pregnancy and reported that the children of these light drinkers were not negatively affected by this amount of alcohol consumption.  The data seems rather familiar, so it may be that it’s just the publication of something that was reported on earlier. But the news seems to be spreading farther and wider with every study supporting the safety of light drinking during pregnancy.

Today, Lisa Belkin reported on the study in her Motherlode Blog at The New York Times.  She asked her readers whether the new findings would change their attitude about alcohol and pregnancy.

Here’s what they said….

“This will not change my opinion. I feel like giving up drinking for 9 months is really not that big of a deal. Sure, I missed having a beer with my husband and friends but I didn’t miss it enough to do it. If you miss it that much, you might have a problem.”

“I feel like we already knew this. It is nice to see it in an actual peer-reviewed journal, though.”

“Giving up two signs of adulthood during pregnancy is training for giving up your adult life when you have kids, to get you used to not doing what you want.”

“Studies like this only serve to give excuses to women who have problems with alcohol, to help them deceive themselves that it’s OK to have a “glass” of wine “every now and then”, or to drink “lightly”. Well, for people with alcohol problems, defining what constitutes a “glass” might surprise non-problem drinkers. So might the definition of “lightly.””

“When I was in medical school, we were taught by the OB / Gyn’s that even though studies showed clearly that only truly heavy drinking resulted in fetal problems, we were to tell all women not to drink anything at all, because those few women with drinking problems would think their heavy drinking was “normal,” and therefore would not refrain unless told to drink none at all. The likely fact that they would not refrain no matter what a doctor told them was not addressed.”

(see more responses  on the Motherlode Blog)

I think if I’d read something like this during pregnancy, I might have been a bit more inclined to have more than the few sips I allowed myself every few weeks. But this is obviously a controversial subject. Do you think this study will change how people feel about alcohol and pregnancy, or is the idea that it’s risky firmly set in everyone’s heads?

photo: Kyle May/flickr

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