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Controversial!!! Have/do you drink alcohol in pregnancy?

(345 Posts)
DanniiH Mon 04-Feb-13 10:02:27

Hi mummies.

Just wanting to get some opinions from real people not a regulatory body.

Personally I don't see the harm in having a glass of wine when pregnant but guidelines say to have none. I'm sure we've all heard people say my mum drank lots and I turned out fine and this is usually true I'm sure. With my son I drank a small glass of wine most nights, he is 3 and scarily bright so I've obviously caused him no harm. I'm pregnant again and whilst I won't drink every night I will have one if I fancy it.

Anyone else agree with this?
Anyone know of anyone where moderate drinking has caused harm to a child?

Bejeena Mon 04-Feb-13 10:17:10

I am sure that one glass every now and then does no harm.

However at the moment the thought of wine for me (am 12 weeks) makes me feel sick, I couldn't stand the thought of drinking it perhaps because I have been so sick and associate being sick with booze, I don't know.

So that is why I am not drinking, perhaps if I get over the initial sickness I might start to fancy a glass again and maybe have one then.

Oh and no have never known of moderate drinking to cause harm, I know plenty of women who have drunk during pregnancy and have healthy children.

weeblueberry Mon 04-Feb-13 10:19:46

I suspect the reason they say no alcohol whatsoever is because if they said 'X amount of units' people would go over because lots of people don't know much much makes up a unit.

Personally I've not had much but then I wasn't a big drinker before so it's not been a hassle. I've had a wee glass of champagne at Hogmany and had a bowl of cranachan on Burns Night that I was informed later had about a dram and a half of whisky in it! Oh well.

Pleasenomorepeppa Mon 04-Feb-13 10:23:43

I was told by my MW a unit a week is fine, unless its a special occasion!! I didn't ask, she just volunteered the information!

fl0b0t Mon 04-Feb-13 10:26:02

I would happily enjoy a glass of champagne if I weren't so sick sad
I'd avoid wher, e poss during first trimester.

mummybare Mon 04-Feb-13 10:33:23

I had the odd glass - probably just a small glass once or twice a month. I did get the odd 'look' when I was obviously pg and out, but I ignored them. That amount does no harm whatsoever. I would avoid drinking more than a couple of times a week, though, personally.

sundaesundae Mon 04-Feb-13 10:34:30

Had three of four glasses of champagne over the last 33 weeks, not a drinker anyway, so haven't missed it. I am looking forward to a cocktail or two afterwards!

Verekerlady Mon 04-Feb-13 10:46:38

I've been told that the reason they tell women not to drink at all, especially in the first 3 months is because alcohol affects each person differently. So where one glass of wine might not have much effect on one pregnant woman it could cause fetal alcohol problems for another pregnant woman. It's impossible to tell who would be more affected so that's why they say none.

I'm not going to drink as its not worth it, and it's only a few months with alcohol. Each to their own, of course, but I would definitely be against it in the first 3 months when the baby's organs and nervous system is initially forming.

Bunnychan Mon 04-Feb-13 10:57:15

I had none in my first Tri. In my second I have had a Buck's Fizz at Christmas, a tiny drop of champers to toast a friends birthday; literally a little bit in a glass. The other day I had half a small glass of red with my meal and it made me feel really light headed so I won't be doing that again. I thinks it's a personal choice so long as its in moderation x

roofio87 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:11:09

I'm not drinking any. mainly because I've come to the (slightly horrifying) realisation that I'm a bit of a binge drinker.I've only ever indulged to have a good few drinks and get merry so the idea of just one drink seems pointless. this pregnancy lark is definitely making me re-evaluate my life!!x

Ellypoo Mon 04-Feb-13 11:16:20

I didn't have any until about 18 weeks, but that's because the smell/thought of it made me heave!! Since then though, I have had the odd small glass of wine (or prosecco at Christmas), which I think is fine. The guidelines say 1-2 units, 1-2 times/week so I think the odd one is fine!

LexyMa Mon 04-Feb-13 11:19:40

I'm in first trimester and have been drinking half a glass of wine a couple of times a week. We both cut down anyway while TTC so it's not a big shock.

Drank all the way through first pregnancy too - similar amount. Only wine and ale, nothing distilled or over-processed. The one change I've made is to go for quality, looking for organically produced hoppy type ales, and wine with low sulphites and additives, and generally you find they cost a bit more, are better quality and taste too. So that half a glass becomes really worth savouring and doesn't feel like a hardship!

Keeping consumption down while BF-ing I actually found a lot harder, first time round. I do now know that I sleep better and wake up more refreshed when I haven't had any booze at all, so perhaps that is going to convince me (well, us both) to keep consumption down when we have a 4yo and newborn to keep up with!

Bue Mon 04-Feb-13 11:21:45

I would, yes. And most women I know don't go through pregnancy without having at least one drink. Official advice from NICE is still that 1-2 units is OK, btw. You can find it in their antenatal care guideline.

nagynolonger Mon 04-Feb-13 11:22:01

My eldest is 32 and my youngest 16. I am not a heavy drinker but did drink during all 6 pregnancies. I know with the eldest we were told smoking was a no no but moderate drinking was fine. So you trust the experts.

The only time I did worry was when I found out I was unexpectedlyshock pregnant with one of my youngest DC. I realised that we were on holiday with friends when I was 6-7 weeks and had drunk wine every lunch and evening for over a week. When I mentioned it to MW and doctors I was told that ideally I shouldn't have done it but just but it to the back of my mind.

Thankfully all 6 of my DC are fine. But three of them are dyslexic so if in the future some clever cloggs finds a link to dyslexia and drinking in pregnancy I will never forgive myself. Having said that two of my nephews are also dyslexic and SIL is tea total

ladymia Mon 04-Feb-13 11:30:39

Personally I stopped drinking as soon as we started trying to get pregnant and have not touched it since. (now 34 wks)

Really doesn't matter to me what others do though but I would feel too guilty doing it.

Miss a glass of wine though!

JessieEssex Mon 04-Feb-13 11:32:55

I'm 32+1 and have probably had 10-15 drinks in total this pregnancy, and never more than one per 'session'! I haven't much felt like it, particularly during the first trimester. Every now and then I fancy a glass of really cold white wine, but I never fancy a second (which is most unlike me...)

I agree with weeblueberry that we probably aren't told that we can have x units per week, as the fear is that pregnant women will either go over that amount, or drink it all at once...

nagynolonger Mon 04-Feb-13 11:34:09

Not sure what the advice is regard drinking while BF but I was told by more than one MW to drink Guiness!..........I did try but it's absolutely foul so I missed out on whatever vitamin Guiness contains.

peanutMD Mon 04-Feb-13 11:51:52

Guiness is full of iron.

Personally I wouldn't be able to enjoy a drink whilst pregnant without feeling guilty so I just don't touch it but like someone else said I was a bit of a binge drinker before hand.

It is also in part due to the fact that I have worked with several children who have varying degrees of FAS and can't bare the idea that it is completely avoidable and couldn't willingly risk it.

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that FAS is most likely caused by excessive alcohol consumption as opposed to a few drinks, this is just my personal opinion.

I still don't understand guidelines tbh they need to be made clearer WRT alcohol and cigarettes although it would be impossible and unethical to enforce a blanket ban.

RoxyLady Mon 04-Feb-13 12:02:47

I wouldnt even chance a glass for my babies health, but that is just my own preference. I havent drunk anything while I was trying to while I am now currently pregnant.
I would kill for a barcardi and coke though smile

orangetickle Mon 04-Feb-13 12:29:26

It's all a balance of risks, like most things in pregnancy.

I choose to drink, since I don't think that the risk of harm from one small glass a week/fortnight is high enough to warrant the hysteria around drinking that amount. However I wouldn't drink more than that, since then the balance starts to tip towards increased risk (IMO).

Personally, I think you're more likely to harm your baby by being involved in a car crash than by having a glass of wine every so often, but nothing is ever said about pregnant women 'daring' to drive places...

Oh and guidelines don't always say none. Kingston NHS, for example, says you can have 1-2 units 1-2 times a week...

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Mon 04-Feb-13 13:36:40

I won't drink during the first trimester. Last time I had maybe 6 drinks the whole pregnancy, would have a small wine now and again or half a shandy. I'll see how I feel this time but it doesn't bother me too much not drinking at all.

ChunkyPickle Mon 04-Feb-13 13:45:58

I have a glass of whatever if I feel like it, although I'm off pretty much everything at the moment as strong flavours make me feel sick...

I've read a load of studies, and not one has shown light drinking to be a problem. There have even been some that appear to show some benefits.

DialMforMummy Mon 04-Feb-13 13:50:19

I had a glass of wine every week but would not have had a drink every night, no matter how small. I have no regrets.
I agree with the others who say that the main problem is that we don't really know what a unit actually is and therefore we might be drinking more than we think. Therein lies the danger me thinks.

CareerGirl01 Mon 04-Feb-13 13:53:55

I have had more alcohol this pregnancy than during first. But to be honest that's still not much, maybe five glasses of sparkling wine in six months? I'll probably stay off it now I'm in my last trimester. In the early stages of this pregnancy the idea of drinking red wine in particular made me feel sick. I had to ask my FIL to move his glass so I couldn't smell it!

DanniiH Mon 04-Feb-13 14:02:23

Wow lots of responses. Everybody makes valid points I think. I wish I could just go off it but I love my wine! I am going to make an effort though, think I'll stay off it in the week and have a glass or 2 at the weekend. x

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