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Are people drinking alcohol less in pregnancy these days?

(60 Posts)
Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 11-Oct-16 11:37:04

Just wondering (with zero judgement!) whether anyone is drinking any alcohol during their pregnancy?

My impression is that when some of my friends were pregnant about 10 years ago it was fairly common to have an occasional glass of wine. During my first pregnancy three years ago the norm seemed to have dropped down to very infrequently / special occasions, and now it seems to be more the 'done thing' not to drink at all.

Might be that I've got a skewed impression? What is everyone else doing?

Vixxfacee Tue 11-Oct-16 11:39:19

I haven't and wouldn't drink any alcohol at all.

29redshoes Tue 11-Oct-16 11:41:09

Yes I think that's the case. Partly because the NHS guidelines have changed I think.

A lot of my friends don't even drink alcohol when TTC anymore.

atticusclaw2 Tue 11-Oct-16 11:42:00

I was pregnant with DS1 12 years ago and with DS2 10 years ago. It wasn't common to drink during pregnancy. I even got married when 5 months pregnant with DS1 and didn't drink at my own wedding.

stealthbanana Tue 11-Oct-16 11:43:37

I am drinking a couple of glasses a week - had nothing in the first trimester, have pretty regularly had alcohol since about 14e (am 28w now). Red wine only, as that's all I fancy. I am definitely in a minority though. I think there is so much whipped up panic that I can understand why people don't, but I feel comfortable that there is negligible risk to baby so am ignoring all the pursed lips of disapproval grin

913535username1 Tue 11-Oct-16 11:44:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

blueskyinmarch Tue 11-Oct-16 11:45:07

I was last pregnant 19 years ago and didn’t drink any alcohol at all. I don’t think things have changed significantly in the last 25/30 years. Way back when my DM was pregnant it was deemed ok to drink dark stout when pregnant but i think the tolerance levels for drinking in pregnancy has been very low/nil for a very long time now.

dementedpixie Tue 11-Oct-16 11:47:52

I didn't drink in either of my pregnancies. Dc's are 10 and nearly 13

Whatsername17 Tue 11-Oct-16 11:59:40

I have the odd small glass of red wine. Im currently 25+5. I think I've had 3 small glasses (smaller than a normal measure) since I became pregnant and didnt have anything until after the 20 week scan. Logically, I know that my body metabolises the small amount of alcohol in the wine before it gets to my baby. However, before 20 weeks I know I'd have blamed myself if something was wrong. I did the same when pregnant with my dd and she is a very bright and healthy 5 year old. It is very important to acknowledge the risks and observe limitations.

hashtagtubechat Tue 11-Oct-16 13:22:55

I had the occasional glass of red, from about 11 weeks. Probably once every couple of weeks. I did have two glasses on a night out this weekend, over about 4 hours and with three pints of water. Thoroughly enjoyed it too

duxb Tue 11-Oct-16 13:28:19

I haven't had any, nor would I. It's a small sacrifice to make for such a small amount of time relative to the rest of your life. I'm not sure why anyone feels the need to

NerrSnerr Tue 11-Oct-16 13:33:49

I felt too sick all the way through my first pregnancy to even consider it. I'm a third way through number 2 and would have a small glass of wine very occasionally if this nausea would fuck off.

welshweasel Tue 11-Oct-16 13:33:53

The vast majority of my friends have drunk the occasional glass of wine/fizz during pregnancy. I certainly enjoyed a small glass of wine once or twice a week and no one ever openly judged me for it. I'm a doctor and most of my friends are fellow HCPs. I got more comments from strangers when I was in the pub having a glass of fizz whilst breastfeeding.

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 11-Oct-16 13:42:09

duxb I was hoping this thread would be free from people judging other people's choices.

LyndaNotLinda Tue 11-Oct-16 13:42:46

duxb: "I haven't had any, nor would I. It's a small sacrifice to make for such a small amount of time relative to the rest of your life. I'm not sure why anyone feels the need to"

Because it's nice and an occasional glass will do your baby no harm whatsoever?

I think the NHS guidelines in which they think all pregnant women are too thick to work out what 1-2 units mean have had a big effect and people are much more judgemental. As evidenced by duxb's comment.

Helbel82 Tue 11-Oct-16 13:51:56

I haven't since finding out that I'm pregnant. I think the problem can be people's misunderstanding of amounts and what 1-2 unit measurements are. Nowadays people tend to drink larger glasses and wine in particular has increased to around 12.5 and even 14 % so what people may seem as a couple of units could be up to 4 units.

Slave2thecat Tue 11-Oct-16 13:52:03

I'm having the odd drink - no more than one a week generally. It seems to do no harm in moderation, which is a problem for people who can't manage to moderate their behaviour.

welshweasel Tue 11-Oct-16 13:52:15

I don't know why I ever bother with these threads. There's always someone being a judgey sanctimonious arse. I'll add in that my baby was a 'precious' IVF pregnancy so they can feel even more outraged that I was poisoning it on a regular basis.

BeccaSays Tue 11-Oct-16 14:00:21

I haven't had any at all apart from when I didn't know I was pregnant for around 2 weeks. I think the uk was the only country in Europe not to have a zero alcohol recommendation during pregnancy...thought they'd now brought that in line. My friend brought over non alcoholic pink fizz the other day so had it in champagne glasses and it was surprisingly really nice!

DEMum101 Tue 11-Oct-16 14:02:08

I have noticed a difference in attitude even in the 7 years since my first pregnancy. The doctor I saw to be booked in the other day was definitely more, don't drink at all in case you blame yourself than the doctors the first time round who took the view the odd glass now and again won't hurt.

Personally, I am drinking a little to maintain the fiction I am not pregnant at the moment, but only half glasses or occasional sips as and when needed. Although I massively fancy a glass of wine, when I taste it, I tend not to enjoy it, which is great news really.

I will probably carry on having the odd glass if I fancy one as that is what I did first time round and no harm resulted.

GoodLuckTime Tue 11-Oct-16 14:02:16

I did during my first and will during my second. I had two glasses of wine on Saturday night knowing I was likely pregnant (too early to test, turns out I am).

Basically you can't regularly get drunk without it harming your baby. Otherwise it's fine. I find the NHS approach to this, to advise non at all as they think people are too stupid to work out what low drinking or 1-2 units a week means, really offensive.

I find that some people then take it or heart and piously flaunt their to-the-rule following hilarious.

It's not a school project. Do what you want and respect everyone else's choices. Still it is an early spot for ultra competitive school mums.

Brilliantly when I saw my gp for my booking appointment with my first, she said 'oh your DH is French? French women drink all the time when they're pregnant' which is true, they do.

GoodLuckTime Tue 11-Oct-16 14:05:13


KayTee87 Tue 11-Oct-16 14:31:24

I had half a bottle of beer at Christmas time, didn't enjoy it and didn't have another drink.

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 11-Oct-16 15:12:20

I feel like the GP and midwives I've seen are being a bit more hard-line: when I've been questioned it's been 'obviously you're not drinking, of course!' rather than actually asking me honestly for an answer (which also seems to be a very bad way of discovering whether someone actually is drinking and needs support to stop, but that's another matter...).

I ended up drinking about half a glass of fizz on my birthday and maybe one other occasion last time but it felt much more my decision (I might have drunk more but being so out of practice I found I felt light-headed almost immediately which I didn't feel comfortable with) rather than imposed upon me.

riddles26 Tue 11-Oct-16 15:52:29

The change in NHS guidance has resulted in a lot of women not drinking. Quite a few older relatives who have children in their teens/early 20s all said how it was considered acceptable to have the odd drink when they were pregnant but I have found it is a given that I am not drinking every time I have been out whilst pregnant whether I'm with friends, colleagues or family.

As a healthcare professional who looks at the safety of medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding, my professional opinion would be that the risk of the occasional small drink is absolutely minimal (if existent at all). There are many medicines that pregnant women need to take for various reasons which have a much more significant risk to the baby. (It must be noted that in these cases, the risk of harm to mum and baby when not taking the meds are even higher and this is why they are still given).

Part of the rationale behind the NHS guidance advising against drinking is that everyone metabolises alcohol differently so a 'safe' limit cannot be universally applied - exposure to each baby will be different even if all women drank the same amount. Each baby will also react differently to the alcohol they are exposed to - there have been cases where women have been binge drinking throughout pregnancy and had a healthy baby with no problems and others where women have drunk regularly throughout (although not bring drinking) and it has resulted in foetal alcohol syndrome.

Everyone who has commented that they have/do drink in pregnancy on this thread has stated amounts of alcohol which are very highly likely to be completely safe and would not concern me at all

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