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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?

nickelbabe Tue 05-Feb-13 14:30:20

yy Hen - me too!
I couldn't drink while I had morning sickness (although, lucky me never actually vomitted grin) - the idea of alcohol just made me feel very queasy indeed.

atrcts Tue 05-Feb-13 15:45:26

The recommendation with my first baby was 1 or 2 units a week - that's just ONE glass of wine!

Since then new research shows it is not as safe as they'd hoped and so the new recommendation is to abstain altogether.

Having a glass every night is up to 2 units EVERY DAY. In 7 days that's your entire WHO recommended intake, and doesn't allow for any reduction because of a pregnancy.

But as with all things considered to be a risk to health, some people seem to get away with it. Others dont. Smoking 60 a day while pregnant springs to mind Just because you it away with it in you your first pregnancy doesn't automatically mean you will with your second.

Personally, and i say this with kindness, if I couldn't reduce my alcohol consumption for the sake of the unborn child, I'd have to ask myself if there was a reason for that. blush I don't wish to sound harsh, because I am not, just offering gentle honesty in answer to your question.

atrcts Tue 05-Feb-13 15:48:15

Pa - I acknowledge that your plan in this pregnancy is to drink much less than the last one though wink

Ragwort Tue 05-Feb-13 15:52:00

I had no idea I was pregnant until I was 10 weeks grin - was not 'trying' and rather assumed I was going through the menopause (right age!) so I was drinking 'normally' (2-3 units most night) for me. I then genuinely went off the taste of alcohol for the next 2-3 months but then would have a glass of wine most evenings with dinner, and continued when I was breastfeeding.

My DM-I-L was a midwife in the 1960s and happily smoked and drank gin throughout her two pregnancies grin.

hatgirl - no idea how you deal with that (drink in secret wink)

Beamae Tue 05-Feb-13 16:02:39

I love a big glass of ice cold white wine. And certainly, pregnancy has never put me off the thought of drinking. Having said that, the tiny amount I'd be allowed to have to stay within the safe number of units is so disappointingly minuscule that I might as well have none at all!

DanniiH Tue 05-Feb-13 18:58:57

Hi Atrcts,

Thanks for your comment and yes I am abstaining this time aside from the odd glass on a weekend and it's not very difficult at all. Just a bit of a habit for me I guess but not a difficult one to break. x

CrumbyCrumbs Tue 05-Feb-13 19:09:46

I, personally, don't see the point in having a single glass of wine, but that's because I was a fairly heavy wine drinker before getting pg and therefore it just seems pointless to me to have one drink. I had a tiny bit of champagne (literally an inch in the bottom of a glass) to toast the new year, and I'm now 24 weeks and haven't touched a drop apart from that.

It is definately personal choice, I just don't see any reason to have a drink in pregnancy - it is only 9 months of your whole life at the end of the day!

twinmummy1234 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:16:36

the fact is if you drink then the alcohol in your blood passes freely through the placenta into the developing baby’s blood. Because the baby does not have a fully developed liver, it cannot filter out the toxins from the alcohol as an adult can. Instead, she alcohol circulates in the baby’s blood system. It can destroy brain cells and damage the nervous system of the baby at any point during the nine months of pregnancy.

You wont give your new born baby a glass of wine would you??? its not worth it . no alchohol no risk of fas

Twin, actually it's only the alcohol your system doesn't process that goes through to placenta hence why they suggest 1-2 units max as most healthy adult livers will process and not pass that on. It's about individual choice, not judgement. Thank you.

Mawgatron Wed 06-Feb-13 06:36:25

My friendship group regularly meets for a drink on a Friday or Saturday night, so I have been allowing myself 1 small glass of wine each week.

Occasionally (if I haven't been to the pub) if we are going to someone's house where more drinking is involved, I will treat myself to 2 bottles of sainsburys low alcohol cider, which is only half a unit per bottle, and makes me feel like I am drinking like everyone else. And it's yummy!

I have done this all the way through- the way I see it, a lot of women don't even know they are pregnant and drink A LOT in there first trimester, whereas I knew pretty much immediately so have been restrained all the way through.

Mawgatron Wed 06-Feb-13 06:41:53

Oh, and careful twin. You are sounding very patronising. Your personal choice isn't right for everyone. No judgements, remember?

FellatioNels0n Wed 06-Feb-13 06:47:02

I did with all of mine, but very much in moderation. By moderation I mean a glass of wine with dinner most evenings. probably not moderation in many people's eyes My youngest is 13. It wasn't an especially big deal then. I still do not believe it is as much of a no-no as the HCPs would have you believe, I just don't think they trust the general public with the intelligence not to down half a bottle of vodka a night.

FellatioNels0n Wed 06-Feb-13 06:48:19

Actually I say a glass of wine most evenings but in all honesty I can't remember what I drank. It was quite possibly a good deal less than that, but I know I felt no need to give up entirely. I probably did cut down a lot though.

sunnysunnyshine Wed 06-Feb-13 08:00:25

I've been drinking quite a lot more in this pregnancy than my first - the odd glass of wine during the week and sometimes a couple on a Friday or Saturday night. I'm not proud of it but I'm grieving for my brother and if it helps me get through a truly shitty time, then so be it.

I've read a lot of research - European reports say moderate drinking is ok, especially if your body is used to drinking regularly. It's just about using your common sense and obviously not downing a bottle of wine or 5 pints.

I know I'll probably get a flaming for this but I don't think anyone should judge anyone else. It's up to individual choice.

Just like you can decide whether or not to eat Brie, smoked salmon, soft eggs etc...

MrsPennyapple Wed 06-Feb-13 08:34:13

I was surprised when the mw at my booking in appointment put on a stern voice and said "you how it has to be zero alcohol now, don't you?" I said yes, although I know the actual guidelines are 1 - 2 units once or twice a week. In my first pregnancy I didn't find out until after the first trimester. I had a very boozy Christmas and New Year, which I wouldn't have if I'd known, but didn't see the point stopping completely after that.

I also agree with Scuba that there are other, more concerning substances to worry about.

MrsPennyapple Wed 06-Feb-13 08:36:52

Just read that back - to clarify, I am pg again now, Will continue to drink a glass or two a week.

IWorshipSatin Wed 06-Feb-13 09:46:42

OK I may as well be honest.

In my first pregnancy I avoided in first trimester but after that I relaxed about it and had a couple of drinks per week (I craved Magners throughout my pregnancy). I found that afterwards, if I happened to mention that I hadn't really drunk much, people acted surprised as if I had been over-cautious. One friend told me she drank every night "but only got properly drunk 3 times whilst I was pregnant"!! Despite the drinks I did have, my DD is a healthy and bright little thing well ahead of the curve at the moment.

I'm now on my second pregnancy and I do have a drink when I fancy it - often it's just a tiny amount of wine in the bottom of a glass that I will make last all night. I'm quite envious of people who go off alcohol completely, that's never happened to me.

We've both cut down dramatically since pre-children. Time was that we could easily sink 2 bottles of wine in a night between us shock.

LeBFG Wed 06-Feb-13 10:16:38

There are a couple of misunderstandings in these posts. The body doesn't magically send the alcohol direct to your liver - it circulates in the blood first and goes to the placenta. With time, the alcohol is processed as it passes through the liver. When you bf, your blood alcohol level is the same as in the milk your baby drinks. The same goes for the blood in your unborn baby.

The second thing is the NICE or NHS aren't suggesting we all drink 1/2u 1/2 week - the guidelines say we should abstain and if we can't this level of drinking has not been proven to cause damage. There is a lot of unknowns and recent research has indeed shown a small effect (NOT fas or anything close) on babies' IQ in some women who drink to the guidelines.

I just feel women should be properly informed of this before deciding to drink or not. It doesn't help if the information is only half-understood.

CrumbyCrumbs Wed 06-Feb-13 11:03:39

MrsPenny actually, the guidelines are NO alcohol what so ever. I find it slightly amusing that when given advice by your midwife you then say "but I know different"erm, no, you don't know better than a midwife.

Personal choice or not (and yes I will probably get flamed) but I find it ridiculous that people can't spend 9 months of their life not drinking, for the sake of the health of their unborn child. The reason the safety of alcohol is so unclear is because there is no way they will ever test it on a pregnant woman it's unethical.

weegiemum Wed 06-Feb-13 11:08:40

My dc are 9,11,13 and when I was pg it was 1-2 units once or twice a week. They seem to be ok?

weegiemum Wed 06-Feb-13 11:10:19

And my fil is a national expert on fas, and he said it was ok!

CrumbyCrumbs Wed 06-Feb-13 11:13:33

Its like the whole "My grandad smoked since he was 11 and never got lung cancer" it's a pot luck, and is your babus health really worth that lottery? It's my 21st in 2 weeks, I will be 27 weeks pg and I won't be drinking! It's only 9 months its not the end of the world!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 06-Feb-13 11:22:06

Just to clarify, the guidelines are here.

As stated before, its no alcohol for the first 3 months and then, should you choose to drink, no more than on or two units once or twice a week.

I think there is some confusion on the thread about what the guidelines actually are smile

CrumbyCrumbs Wed 06-Feb-13 11:45:07

JiltedJohnsJulie Yes, so 'to clarify', you should not drink any alcohol in pregnancy, however if you are going to choose to put your unborn baby at risk, then you should minimise that risk by only drinking 1-2 units once or twice a week.

If you can't abstain from alcohol for 9 months for the sake of your unborn child, then perhaps you should be considering why you are having a child in the first place. That is meant with the least offence possible but, as someone who drank fairly heavily before trying for a baby, I would rather know that my baby is 100% not being exposed to alcohol than risk drinking just a little bit because I am too selfish to abstain for 9 months!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 06-Feb-13 11:52:46

I love knowing what the risks actually are so if you could link to the research, I'd be really grateful.

Some risks are just theoretical however. For instance I really wanted sushi but the advice was not to have it because of a risk of listeria, so I read up on it and found there was not a single case worldwide of a baby being affected with listeria through sushi so I took the risk.

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