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to be a bit disappointed that the British Medical Association thinks women are basically thick?

(120 Posts)
welliemum Fri 31-Oct-08 06:52:59

Interesting study in the news here.

In a nutshell, the study suggests that light drinking (up to 2 drinks per week) during pregnancy isn't harmful to children's development.

Dr Kelly, the lead researcher, said, "Our study's findings do raise questions as to whether the current push for policy to recommend complete abstinence during pregnancy is merited and suggest that further research needs to be done."

But no, the BMA disagrees: "The BMA believes the simplest and safest advice is for women not to drink alcohol during pregnancy."

Because we're all thick, right? So thick that we can't count up to 2, apparently. angry

ChirpyGhoul Fri 31-Oct-08 06:54:45

they dont think we are thick, just that we cant be trusted angry

welliemum Fri 31-Oct-08 06:59:46

True, we all know that once we women start on a glass of chardonnay over dinner, we can't stop drinking until we've downed 14 pints and a curry and thrown up in a taxi.

We shouldn't really be allowed to drink at all.

LittleBellaLugosi Fri 31-Oct-08 07:14:52


You should know by now that the BMA thinks we're a bunch of fuckwits, it should no longer be a source of disappointment to you.

I'm not disappointed, just deeply dismissive of the twats. grin

NotQuiteCockney Fri 31-Oct-08 07:22:22

Medics think everyone lies and decieves themselves over alcohol. If you say you drink 5 units a week, they mentally double it.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 31-Oct-08 07:24:21

(And to be fair, I think the medics are often right.)

welliemum Fri 31-Oct-08 07:25:21

So by that logic the "light drinkers" in the study were actually drinking up to 4 units a week wink

... and still their children showed no ill effects.

Carmenere Fri 31-Oct-08 07:29:37

The thing is that if you are on mn you are probably not the type of mother they have in mind. there are PLENTY of misguided souls knocking back double figures of alcopops of a weekend happy in the knowledge that their mums drank when pregnant and it didn't harm themhmm. It is them they are concerned about. They have to address the lowest common denominator unfortunately.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 31-Oct-08 07:39:34

Well, I'd hope the 'light drinkers' were being given controlled amounts of alcohol, pre-approved.

Many 'sensible' British people generally drink more than the recommended units (which is what, 4 units/day?) - so why would medics trust pregnant women to follow recommendations?

Milkmade Fri 31-Oct-08 07:42:20

I disagreeCarmenere, I think they need to give advice people can actually use- when I was pregnant first time round I know I thought "light drinking"was ok after the first 3 months, but didn't really know how I would define light drinking - I found the 1 drink once or twice a week advice really helpful - if it was the current "no alcohol" advice, I would still have thought light drinking was ok, but would have had to make up my own thoughts on what that was, and tbh it would probably have been a glass of wine every or at least most evenings.

Libra1975 Fri 31-Oct-08 07:48:11

Carmenere is correct they have to address the lowest common denominator AND the fact is alchol is empty calories that has no nutrional value we don't need it during pregnancy and it could cause harm. (BTW after the first 3 months I did drink 1-2 glasses twice a week)
Maybe further research has to be done but until it is (and let's face it they aren't going to do controlled studies on pregnant women) the best advice the BMA can give is no alcohol.

LittleBellaLugosi Fri 31-Oct-08 07:53:43

Er no, that isn't the best advice the BMA can give.

Seeing as how some babies did better if their mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy, you could argue that they would be disadvantaging those babies by telling their mothers not to drink.

It might not be a very credible argument, but neither is the one that says most of us are fuckwits so the BMA has to talk to us in words of one syllables.

What right to medics have to mentally double units of alcohol people say they drink? How fucking arrogant. I'll remember to halve the units I tell them I drink from now on.

Libra1975 Fri 31-Oct-08 08:02:33

"Seeing as how some babies did better if their mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy"

sorry I don't understand this statement, I understand that alcohol can have no effect on the baby but actually do better, how?

the BMA doesn't think most of us are fuckwits it thinks some of us are fuckwits and has to cater to them.

because most people have absolutely no idea what a unit is.

littleducks Fri 31-Oct-08 08:03:13

I think that this has been publically aknowledged since the change in policy.

A few points to consider are that:

' isn't harmful to children's development' doesnt not mean it is any way beneficial,

many fertility experts recommend that people stop drinking and smoking if they are having trouble conceiving, so doesnt it make sense that 'Government advice says pregnant women, or those trying to conceive, should avoid drinking alcohol.' It will avoid high levels of referals for fertility testing

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 31-Oct-08 08:09:49

Message withdrawn

blueshoes Fri 31-Oct-08 08:15:41

If men could get pregnant, I think the advice would still be the same. The dumbing down is aimed at the lowest common denominator in society (as another poster said), not the gender of the audience.

Is the limit 2 drinks a week, as in the OP? Or a certain number of units a week? What is a drink/unit in relation to lager, wine, spirits, alcopops? I don't think even the so-called educated population have got their heads around this.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 31-Oct-08 08:15:48

Message withdrawn

OrmIrian Fri 31-Oct-08 08:19:28

welliemum - the BMA beleives that everyone is thick.

SmugColditz Fri 31-Oct-08 08:20:32

That study doesn't differentiate for diet.

It doesn't allow for people who eat 10 different vegetables a daay, a pint of skimmed milk, a portion of fish, a portion of lean red meat and an egg, and a small glass of wine (totting up to 7 units a week)

Compared to those who have a piece of toast, some supernoodles and a microwave cheeseburger, and no wine.

IMHO the top group would do better.

blueshoes Fri 31-Oct-08 08:23:15

OrmIrian puts it very succintly!

SmugColditz Fri 31-Oct-08 08:25:07

(What's the difference between a doctor and God? God doesn't think he's a doctor.)


RubberDuck Fri 31-Oct-08 08:29:26

It is an interesting study (and one that correlates with other studies that say light drinking does no harm) but only in that it highlights need for more in depth research.

This was not a double-blinded placebo-controlled experiment. In fact, their lack of controls is shocking as others have commented. To state that babies did 30% better if their mother drank lightly in pregnancy is a farce when they also say that this could be attributed to them being in a higher income group. So no controls for other lifestyle differences in the upbringing of that child which could impact on behaviour and vocabulary issues. They just cannot draw those conclusions with the data they have collected.

Now, I do agree that evidence so far leans towards light drinking being perfectly safe in pregnancy (and the BMA are tossers in this regard), but this study has not been done well and has been irresponsibly reported, imo.

lulalullabye Fri 31-Oct-08 08:31:19

You have to remember that the type of women who would read that the wrong way and do what carmenere said, would probably not be watching the news or reading the papers or be on mumsnet at this time in the morning due to their hangovers so nothing will change.

RubberDuck Fri 31-Oct-08 08:31:28

(in fact, I would lay odds that the BMA's cautionary quotes were actually being expressed because of the poor quality of the study and were misused by the journalists to make them seem over-bearing and pompous in the face of scientific opinion, whereas the opinion wasn't very scientific in the first place).

welliemum Fri 31-Oct-08 09:02:37

The researchers aren't saying, by the way, that light drinking was actually good for unborn babies in their study - rather that the mothers who were light drinkers were better educated, smoked less, were generally "socially advantaged" as they put it.

But the fact remains that this very big study didn't detect a harmful effect on children from light drinking in pregnancy. And in fact I totally buy the idea that people underestimate how much they drink. So, if anything, that means that the study overestimated the potential harm from alcohol.

I have some concerns about the study design myself, but generally, taking this study together with others showing similar results, there is absolutely no justification at the moment for saying that pregnant women should abstain. In fact, not to mince words, you're lying to women if you tell them that light drinking is harmful.

So I absolutely could not disagree more about the “lowest common denominator argument”. What does this mean, that it’s OK to lie to people if they’re not very well educated? I think that’s disgusting.

If the govt wants a simple message that everyone can understand, it could be something like “don’t drink more than 2 units of alcohol per week when pregnant”.

For anyone wanting a bit more info, the message could be more complex, eg “No studies so far have shown harm from drinking up to 2 units per week. This is not of course a guarantee that no harm exists.” Etc etc etc, discussion of the difficulties of studying alcohol effects – there’s plenty to discuss.

But you have to start with basic honesty.

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