Drinking While Pregnant: I'd Never Say Never, Assuming I Knew When to Say WhenJohn Cave Osborne
You down with DWP? Before you come back with “Yeah, you know me,” ala Naughty by Nature, you might want to first know that DWP stands for Drinking While Pregnant. And most fall into one of two camps when it comes to DWP: either you’re staunchly against it OR you don’t think it’s that big of a deal (if done in moderation, that is) though you may be hesitant to admit as much. At least publicly. So, seriously. Are you down with DWP?
Well let me help you out a bit by getting the ball rolling. You know who is down with DWP?
My mom. That’s who. She’s also down with SWP. Smoking while pregnant. She did both while carrying yours truly. And, according to her at least, she did a pretty good amount of each.
Okay, before I go any further, I want make one thing explicitly clear: this is my wife’s third pregnancy and she’s never had a single drop of alcohol while carrying any of her five children. And while I won’t speak for her, I will say this: even if she did decide to, say, have a glass of wine one night, I’d be 100% okay with it.
Do I think it’s cool to get hammered while you’re pregnant? No. I don’t. But I also think that as a society, we’ve become overprotective of our pregnancies. (Don’t even get me started on how overprotective we’ve become of our children…) Thus, we’ve placed a billion different restrictions on pregnant women that probably aren’t really necessary.
Just two weeks ago a good friend of mine swore up and down that her doctor flat-out told her that drinking in moderation every now and then wasn’t a big deal at all. The reason why it’s discouraged, this doctor contended, is that drinking excessively is, indeed, bad for a pregnancy. And, well, where do you draw the line?
While I won’t pretend to know the answer as to exactly where that line is, I will say this: I would totally trust my wife to make that call. Again, she’s never put herself in that situation, but if she ever did, I think she’d know good and well when to say when.
Simply put, I’m convinced that having a drink every now and then while pregnant isn’t as bad as many seem to believe. Again, my mom drank and even smoked during her pregnancy, and I turned out alright, didn’t I?
Okay, don’t answer that.
The reason why I decided to bring up the whole DWP issue is that I recently read an interesting article on Yahoo Shine by “MomFinds” which broached the topic. MomFinds, an admitted non-drinker, tells the story of a pregnant woman having 1/4 of a glass of champagne at a reception. MomFinds’ piece is a very good one, and by no means did she go on a witch hunt. Nor did she come across holier than thou. But she did admit that after the reception, the image of the woman having that little bit of alcohol stuck with her:
“The entire ride home, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I know some doctors say an occasional glass of alcohol probably won’t hurt, but it’s still one of those things that makes me very uneasy. As you can probably guess, I was one of those hyper-aware expectant moms that avoided anything that might harm my baby like the plague. I didn’t drink coffee, eat cheese, cold cuts, undercooked meat or fish for my entire pregnancy. I even asked people who smoked around me to put their cigarettes out.”
MomFinds is a prime example of what I was referring to when I say that I think, as a society, we’ve become overly protective of pregnancies. In my opinion, she’s clearly gotten into the Kool Aid of concern. But you know what? If I were sitting with MomFinds while she was pregnant and she complained of someone who was smoking nearby? I’d get up and ask that person if he or she would mind putting it out.
Because one thing I totally believe is this: consternation is the real enemy. And if it bothers MomFinds, and if she thinks it might be a danger, then who am I to say it isn’t? Make sense?
All that said, if I were pregnant? I dunno, y’all. I’d never say never. But only because I’d make sure to know when to say when. Does that make me so bad? So what’s your take? Are you down with DWP?