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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?

WeAreEternal Sun 10-Feb-13 18:24:43

I had no idea I was pregnant unil I was 19 weeks, and while I was not. Big drinker I did get drunk every other weekend or so.

After I found out I was pregnant I drank occasionally but not excessively, more in late pregnancy, and only the odd glass of wine and I don't think it did me or DS any harm, although if I had known I was pregnant earlier I wouldn't have drank at all in early pregnancy.
In my next pregnancy I don't think I will drink at all, but my lifestyle has change and I hardly drink at all anyway.

JenaiMorris Sun 10-Feb-13 18:25:51

I think it's more valuable if women have information about how and why something is best avoided, rather than simply saying x is bad.

I don't think people take listeriosis seriously enough for example. The same person who'd be full of outrage at a woman smoking one cigarette might think scoffing some blue cheese is a naughty indulgence - I've seen this a few times on MN.

JenaiMorris: the reason most sensible people don't get their undies in a bundle about listeriosis is because it's really fucking rare. How many times have you had it?

As to that other stuff about cell death waaa waaa waa - lots of women drink when they don't know they are pregnant. And their babies are not all born with three feet and no eyes, so once again this is a risk not a certainty, and once again if you take that sort of scaremongering shit literally it will be all of a sudden illegal for women of childbearing age to drink alcohol in case they are pregnant.

Oh and just for clarification further upthread - I do believe that women should have the right to terminate a pregnancy right up till the moment of birth. Because women should be in charge of their own bodies and answerable to no one else.

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 04:16:01

I have no idea if I've ever had listeriosis. Unless your immunity is compromised the chances are you wouldn't know you have it. And yes it's rare but the consequences are bloody awful.

I agree with your final paragraph and share your fears in the first.

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 04:16:29

I mean second. Whatevs.

ExpatAl Mon 11-Feb-13 09:25:44

I do know somebody who had listeriosis. Her baby was stillborn. It was unlucky because it can usually be treated by antibiotics if caught in time with no harm to baby. Your immune system IS compromised when pregnant because it's concentrating on protecting baby.

Babies are new members of a family. They don't just belong to the mother for her to do as she pleases. She's part of a team. I think it's easy to say your last paragraph SGB because how often does a women terminate at term just because she can?

LeBFG Mon 11-Feb-13 09:33:36

It's interesting how advice is given. I can see, in the face of a 1% FAS rate, policy is going to favour simple and easy to understand advice for the poorly educated. There's no point giving out lots of information, subtely nuanced for the educated/concerned parent if the person in front of you doesn't care too much or is too poorly educated to understand the advice being given (i.e. the group most at risk of FAS).

On top of that many educated, concerned parents want simple, easy to follow, unambiguous advice - bit like a diet e.g. DO a, b and c, DON'T do x, y, z. My friend is a uni lecturer, very busy and when pregnant followed the NHS list of advice unquestioningly - she wouldn't even touch my cat or let her son touch her either. She just didn't want to know any facts about toxo. Fair doos - each to their own.

In my last pg, for example, I was riled something rotten when the MW at a group birth prep class wouldn't say one glass of champagne at xmas was just fine - she just stuck to the party line of zero alcohol. Somehow, we wish the HPs would be able to assess who is in front of them and tailor the advice a bit in line with who's doing the asking. But I can see how this is a bit utopian.

ExpatAl: THe number of women who terminate pregnancies late/at term 'just because they can' or for 'social' reasons (ie not medical ones) is vanishingly small. So allowing abortion to term would not actually mean no more babies born ever, or anything...It would be a far greater social good for women to have this right, and not need it (as hardly any of them will) - than for women to die needlessly because some men somewhere think it's up to them to decide whether or not a woman is allowed to control her own body.

And until a baby is actually born, it does belong to the woman and she can do what she likes.

ExpatAl Mon 11-Feb-13 10:08:08

Okay. So if you see a woman with a bump walking down the road with a spliff in one hand, her arm covered in fresh tracks and an open can of strong brew in her hand you think brilliant, a woman doing as she likes?

BangersAndMashh Mon 11-Feb-13 11:04:54

Just come across this thread, and quite frankly some of the things people have come out with are shocking!

I think a lot of people are slightly uneducated about the risks of drinking in pregnancy.

I am currently pregnant and choosr not to drink anything, but I do drink like 2 cups of coffee a day so some might say that is also risky.

SolidGoldBrass how do you know it is men making those decisions? Do you have proof that it isn't a woman making the drinking guidelines?

And the termination stuff should be being discussed on a different thread.

LexyMa Mon 11-Feb-13 15:35:24

SGB, you'll love this (well, you won't, but you'll see what I mean...)

Queensland police union wants risky mothers-to-be locked up

BangersAndMashh Mon 11-Feb-13 15:44:22

I don't like the way people are talking about a baby as if it is a possession! It is a life for goodness sake.

I don't normally like getting involved in ethical debate, but to make out that the unborn child should not have any rights is down right ridiculous imo. I understand everyone is entitled to their view, it just upsets me a great deal to know that people actually think that way sad I can feel my baby wriggling around inside me as we speak, it's a life that I have created, not a possession to be tossed in the trash. But like I said, thats a whooole different thread.

Expat: I'd feel sorry for her because if she's on smack her life is a mess.

Bangers: the worst offenders in taking away women's bodily autonomy and being perfectly willing to let them die rather than terminate pregnancies are always men - the senior members of the catholic church, in particular. ALso, Bangers, your unborn baby may be a person to you and that's fine; a lot of women feel that way. But the contents of other women's wombs are none of your (or anyone else's) business.

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 15:53:13

Termination is utterly relevant to any discussion involving a woman's rights over her own body, Bangers.

Expat of course I'm not going to think "go girl". I'd be thinking "there's a woman and a future child with BIG problems".

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 15:54:42

There are plenty of women involved in the anti-abortion movement.

ExpatAl Mon 11-Feb-13 16:04:50

So it's only if the woman does something that you feel is okay that you'd defend the right for her to do as she likes? This is just nonsense.

I am entirely pro choice and Ireland and the US (many other countries too) are just a disgrace, but to defend the termination of a baby at term is to defend murder. You'll likely know that the tiny amount of women who do that are deeply disturbed...

Expat: I defend anyone's right to take heroin as our bodies belong to us and no one else, so if we want to be unhealthy or kill ourselves it's up to us. I might not think it's a good thing, but nor is it my business.

And what 'tiny amount of 'deeply disturbed women' seek termination at term (other than in the case of medical emergency)? All anti-abortion activists are woman-hating scum, and this is often demonstrated by their insistence that if it's not illegal to terminate up until the moment of birth, women are so selfish, crazy, frivolous and wicked that they'd all be doing it for silly woman-reasons like not wanting to miss their favourite programme on TV or not liking the colour of the curtains in the hospital.It's important to have the right to bodily autonomy, the right to put your own wishes and needs ahead of a foetus, because you are a person. Most women, of course, choose to prioritize the foetus and to take reasonable care of themselves, but it has to be up to them to decide what happens.

Otherwise, do you really want to live in a world where women can be locked up for being pregnant? Banned from doing all sorts of ordinary things like driving, eating what they fancy, dancing, sports etc, because they might be pregnant? Do you think men and the state really have the right to lock women up or supervise them 24/7 to make sure that they don't endanger their unborn babies or their precious ovaries? DO you really want to live in a world where women are breeding animals rather than humans?

ExpatAl Mon 11-Feb-13 16:19:46

Sorry OP, to hijack your thread, but you did say it was controversial!!

To answer your original question I would have said that the odd drink is okay after the first trimester, but after cafecito's posts I'm not sure that I would risk it. I've also been reading other websites that that are leaning towards no alcohol is much safer because research is getting more and more indepth.

ExpatAl Mon 11-Feb-13 16:23:04

This is obviously something that you really care about SGB. But I'm not on the same wavelength at all and you seem to be just repeating man hating rhetoric endlessly with no particular logic, so I'll leave you to it.

OK - I saw a TV programme on women drinking in pregnancy - it was on some time last year. It highlighted that women were being given different advice, even by people like midwives so there was some confusion.

The academic who had researched the effects of drinking in pregnancy said that although lower amounts of alcohol would not cause full-blown fetal alcohol syndrome, there was some possibility that they could cause more subtle learning difficulties in children.

IIRC, he said that nobody actually knows how much alcohol is safe to drink in pregnancy. Alcohol stays in the baby's blood stream a lot longer than in the adult mother since the baby's liver is not working to break it down and it has to wait until the alcohol is removed via the placenta. He hypothesised that the higher incidence of things like ADHD that we see in children these days may partly be explained by the fact that many more people these day have a glass of wine in an evening, where once they would have had a cup of tea. In places like France where wine drinking has been part of the culture for a lot longer, pregnant women tend to drink just a small amount of wine mixed with water during a meal so were actually consuming a much much lower concentration of alcohol.

He said because nobody could say for certain how much alcohol (if any) was OK, the only totally safe thing to say was that if women did not drink during pregnancy, their baby would not be affected.

The other thing they looked at was although a lot of women thought it was safer to drink alcohol after the first trimester, this just wasn't the case and that actually some of the bad effects were caused by drinking in the third trimester because of how that related to the baby's brain development!

I can't find any links to the programme I saw but this article seems to be saying that people with particular gene variants may have babies that are more susceptible to alcohol damage in utero.

Before I saw the programme I thought that avoiding alcohol completely in pregnancy was totally over the top, but the programme really changed my mind. I wouldn't risk it myself now!

this is the summary of the research done by the Universities of Oxford and Bristol that is referred to in the news link above

BangersAndMashh Mon 11-Feb-13 18:42:34

There is a lot of man-hatng going on here! Wow! Still shocked at the thought that it should be a woman's right to terminate right up to term - that baby is already a human being before they are born - they don't suddenly turn into a baby as they come down the birth canal...

The logic behind some of the things being said horrifies me! Like I said before, people are entitled to believe what they wish, but when that involves meddling with an actual life, well I'm not so sure.

5madthings Mon 11-Feb-13 18:49:42

Woman already have the right to terminate up to term if their lufe is at risk or if the baby is found to have a life limiting condition such as downs syndrome or other conjenital abnormality

This is disabilist imo. If we have abortion to term for a disabled baby then iy should be for all. And yrs i think womem should have that control. Fgs women wont have late term abortions lightly.

BangersAndMashh Mon 11-Feb-13 18:57:46

I know it is legal to terminate up to full term in exceptional circumstances, what I'm saying is, the thought of it being a woman's right to terminate up to full term just because they don't want the baby (which is what someone has said should be the case) utterly shocking! No one should have the right to murder, which is what that is in my eyes.

This is why I don't like being involved in ethical debates, especially when I am new to a site, but I do feel strongly about this. But I do also think we have all deviated away from the original question!

5madthings Mon 11-Feb-13 19:12:55

But its ok to 'murder' a disabled baby then? They are both human babies with equal value. Either we should be able to terminate any baby up to tetm or none at all. And yes i do think women shoukd have that right. But i dont think many women woukd have a late term abortion simply because they decided at a late stage they didnt want a baby anymore. A woman that puts herself through a late stage termination will have reason to do so.

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