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Thoughts on alcohol during pregnancy

(78 Posts)
babysaurus Tue 14-Jun-11 15:17:34

Hi, I am 9+5 and am craving a glass of white wine like you would not believe! My sister said she drank a glass several times a week all the way through her pregnancy, whereas other friends of mine haven't touched a drop from day one until they finished breastfeeding. There also seems to be quite a lot of conflicting advice on alcohol, esp from country to country (eg US says none at all, whereas in France they think it's weird if you dont!)
Am curious to hear other viewpoints and experiences (if only to justify pouring myself a small glass on Friday!)

silverangel Tue 14-Jun-11 15:26:35

Hello, there are always going to be a lot of conflicting views on this. I believe (and I may be wrong) that the current advice is to avoid totally during pregnancy. I have not followed that advice, and have had a couple of glasses of wine a week mostly when I have been out for dinner.

I think that the levels you would need to consume to cause FAS, would be lot higher than that and you would need to be a fairly hard core drinker. At the end of the day it is a personal asessment / judgement of risk and whether you are happy to accept that risk.

I am and would say go ahead and enjoy the glass of winesmile I actually found I didn't fancy it all in the first 12 weeks and now (24+5) anything more than a glass gives me palpitations!

babysaurus Tue 14-Jun-11 15:30:44

I had a similar conversation re this with my sister, who's a nurse. She said that the only case of FAS she has seen was in a child born to a woman who was on, what she said, was a litre of vodka a day (so they doubled it.)
I am happy to take that 'risk' as I do think it's minimal (I will stop at one though, I'd like to point out!) Such a bummer that the only thing I am really craving at the moment appears to be white wine! Wish I'd gone off the idea altogether like lots of other people seem to!

yousankmybattleship Tue 14-Jun-11 15:38:13

I think the advice is still to avoid alcohol as far as I know. Why would you? I really can't imagine enjoying something that could poentially harm my baby. Nine months really isn't that long to go without a drink!

muzzy2011 Tue 14-Jun-11 15:39:37

I was in the same predicament as you and you hear so many conflicting opinions! I know there are some people that think its terrible to have a drink but personally i think that as long as you are sensible the odd one or two is fine. If I want one i normally have half lager shandy or wine spritzer. I also know lots of friends who did similar throughout their pregnancies and all had healthy babies smile

babysaurus Tue 14-Jun-11 15:49:23

The American sites are especially in favour of the 'why take the risk of even one' chain of thought. I think that really, being sensible is more the key to be honest. I also, and while I do not advocate this, think of the friends etc I know who drank like fish before they knew (and some found out late) and their babies were fine. As was my sisters, who drank throughout her pregnancy (not like mad though, but a large glass most evenings which seemed a lot to me.)

Riddzy Tue 14-Jun-11 15:49:37

I second a wine spritzer with loads of ice! Lovely on a sunny day.

I've been having the odd glass of wine and a bit of Pimms. My mother's doctor recommended she drink stout when they were pregnant, we're all a bit paranoid these days!

ToriaPumpkin Tue 14-Jun-11 15:50:02

I've had a couple of spritzers and a Buck's Fizz so far (20+5) and I've got two weddings coming up at which I'll probably have a glass of champagne for the toasts. There is a massive difference between having a glass of wine and getting plastered and as silverangel said, the amounts needed to cause FAS are far higher than most people manage in a week.

The guidelines are there because despite 99% of pregnant women being sensible enough to know that a glass of wine is a good time to stop there will always be 1% who think that a "moderate drink" means a round of vodka cocktails.

If it helps, my mum's a midwife and she watched me drink the Buck's Fizz, while eating (pasteurised) Brie on biscuits and the only thing she told me was to make sure my burger was cooked through properly.

babysaurus Tue 14-Jun-11 15:55:19

A friend's mother is a midwife and she said that really the only things to avoid completely are blue veined cheese and liver pate. Agree we are all a bit paranoid these days.

VioletV Tue 14-Jun-11 16:02:15

A glass now and again isn't going to kill you. I've asked 3 different WM and all have said now and again is fine. I have had a few glasses now and again but towards the 3rd trimester I haven't really touched a drop.

TadlowDogIncident Tue 14-Jun-11 16:34:14

I drank a glass or two of wine a week, though never more than one glass in a day. I don't agree with the "why take the risk" approach: there's no evidence at all that light drinking harms the baby, and logically if you were going to take that approach you wouldn't go to work, get in a car, live in a house with stairs - do I have to go on?

I'm all in favour of carrying on with life as normally as possible in pregnancy, and for most of us that includes the odd drink. My lovely, and very sensible, GP said that up to three glasses a week was absolutely fine, and she didn't know any obstetricians who'd given up completely while they were pregnant.

d0gFace Tue 14-Jun-11 16:35:48

My opinion:

Wait until 12 weeks at least then everything is developed. 2 units per week max.

d0gFace Tue 14-Jun-11 16:37:43

I wouldnt give my baby a beer, Id probably go down stairs with it though as im crazy like that. wink

TheSecondComing Tue 14-Jun-11 16:40:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EricNorthmansMistress Tue 14-Jun-11 16:41:13

Agree with Dogface. There is no reason to avoid any at all, there is no reason to believe that a small amount of alcohol will affect the baby.

Lynzilove Tue 14-Jun-11 16:41:50

Iv had the odd drink all the way through. I haven't felt the need at any point to completely change the way I am while pregnant. The only thing I have properly not had is pate! I have stuck to spritzers/ cider/ lager and never have more than one as it feels like it takes more effect quicker since being pregnant.
I have taken the advice as not going out getting bladdered every weekend or heavy drinking!

toddlerama Tue 14-Jun-11 16:41:58

TBH if you have a serious craving for alcohol I would be looking to address that. You sound like you wanted to abstain for 9 months but have found you don't think you can. That is worrying in itself. If you didn't believe in FAS or just didn't care, that would be your prerogative, but it doesn't sound like that's the case. Alcohol is not essential to anybody, but someone dependent on it will always convince themselves that isn't true. Take this opportunity to go cold turkey and deal with your relationship with alcohol.

<awaits flaming>

ToriaPumpkin Tue 14-Jun-11 16:45:46

Toddlerama I've been craving cheese like it's going out of fashion, could quite happily live on the stuff, does that mean I have an unhealthy relationship with cheese? FWIW I've also had nights when I've really wanted a cold pint of cider in a pub garden. It's the taste I miss more than the feeling of being drunk, and alcohol free wine just doesn't taste the same!

toddlerama Tue 14-Jun-11 16:47:28

Fair enough. Maybe I'm projecting here....grin

VioletV Tue 14-Jun-11 16:47:35

Toddlerama You're not serious, right? You must be joking I fail to believe you just typed all that and you mean it!

I've been craving Vodka redbull for my entire pregnancy I guess I should take my 35+4 arse down to AA.........

Just to add no cravings are essential to anybody so I guess we should all book ourselves into clinics for everything we've craved..........

babysaurus Tue 14-Jun-11 16:49:40

Todderama I think your post may be best ignored!

hayesgirl Tue 14-Jun-11 16:50:00

When i found out i was pregnant i was about to go on my honeymoon to malaysia so was worried about food to avoid etc. I was going to be away over christmas and new year and my doctor told me that if i wanted to have a glass or 2 of wine over the christmas period not to feel bad about it. He said that the evidence is shaky and very conflicting and as far as he was concerned there was no evidence to suggest that 1 or 2 glasses of wine every now and again caused any damage to the baby either in the womb or in later years. As it happened i didnt really feel like it cos i felt so nauseous anyway but i did have a glass of champagne christmas day and another to toast the new year - both were nursed for about 2 hours as well!

Since then I've had half a pint of pear cider that I just had a massive craving for when it was really hot one day.

Personally, and some may not agree, I think there is alot of scare mongering about what you can and cant do and what the consequences are if you do do something that they say you cant!

nickelbabe Tue 14-Jun-11 16:50:32

The advice is to avoid alcohol completely, but that you're allowed 1-2 units a week if you're desperate.

When I first got PG, DH bought me a bottle of Fre, non-alcoholic wine, which tastes exactly like a sweet wine.
It worked for me...

Ephiny Tue 14-Jun-11 16:51:52

I think if you want a small glass, then have one! There's no evidence at all to suggest that could pose any risk of FAS or other problems.

Personally I probably wouldn't drink at all if pregnant, but then I rarely drink anyway so it's not really something I'd miss at all. Cheese on the other hand would be a different matter...smile

d0gFace Tue 14-Jun-11 16:53:24

I think its one of those subjects that everyone has an opinion on and some views will be abit more extreme then others. When it comes down to it your baby, your choice.

If you're still not sure consult your MW or doctor?

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