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Why I'm Choosing Sobriety Through Pregnancy

When I was home over Christmas my mom commented that my cousin’s OB told her that now that she was out of her first trimester, she was free to have a glass of wine each night if she wanted. I wasn’t terribly surprised because I know that many doctors and mothers are laid back about alcohol later in pregnancy, but I also knew immediately that I would not be following suit.

I’ve done some research on alcohol in pregnancy and besides the recent news that any alcohol late in the first trimester is potentially dangerous, the evidence is bare to say the least. The fact is, it is unethical to perform any quality studies on alcohol in pregnancy and so all that we know for sure is that alcohol could have a significant impact on a developing baby, but we’re not sure how much alcohol it would take.

And that’s why I’m staying away.

To me, there’s just no occasion that requires alcohol enough for me to take any risks with my baby. Sure, the wedding we went to was a little less fun with lemonade from the open bar and sparkling cider for the toasts. Yes, my husband’s 30th birthday party will probably be a little more dull as the sole sober person in the room. But frankly, this sacrifice just doesn’t seem that significant.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge drinker when not pregnant, but skipping alcohol for 9 months isn’t that difficult. It may require a little more creativity, but there are plenty of ways to relax without wine and there are plenty of ways to celebrate without booze. And because we may never know what the true, long-term impact of alcohol is on each child, I am just unwilling to take the risk.

I know that plenty of people reading this have chosen to have the sanctioned glass of wine and have given birth to healthy babies, and that’s wonderful. But we know alcohol impacts all people differently and I cannot image the burden of grief if anything were to happen to my child and I didn’t do all I could to keep him safe.

I guess I’ll have to come to peace with being an over-protective mother from the very start. I’m pretty sure there are worse things to be.

Did you drink alcohol during pregnancy? Why or why not?

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