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I know the official line is 'no alcohol' but is there a 'safe' limit?

(102 Posts)
mosschops30 Sun 24-May-09 21:29:47

I dont drink really when not pg, only when we go out which may be once or twice a month.

I have just been through the worst 4 weeks of my life and I am amazed that I have managed to not turn to fags, which would have been usual for me.
I gave up smoking the moment I found out I was pg, and havent drunk anything at all either.

But at funeral on friday I had one (small) glass of rose, and today I had 2 (small) glasses of wine at a friends house.
Is there a limit which is safe? We are on holiday next week and I would like the odd glass or a shandy or two.

Im not used to this, when pg with dd and ds there was no real limit set and I drunk guiness like it was going out of fashion!

Any advice would be great thanks

SheWillBeLoved Sun 24-May-09 21:35:42

I remember reading somewhere that 1-2 units, once or twice per week was considered 'okay'.

I don't think there is a safe limit, well.. one that people know about anyway.

mrsboogie Sun 24-May-09 21:38:09

No safe limit I'm afraid. Mind you it would be difficult for them to set one since it is hard to prove a negative.

On one hand the medical profession is getting increasingly puritanical about it on the other hand if one or two glasses of wine caused problems then half the population would be suffering as a result.

The latest malarky is that the children of women who drink in pregnancy are more likely to develop a taste for it. I think this is crap as I have never met a person in my life who didn't have to develop a taste for booze - Oh I have actually - she is an alcoholic and her mum was teetotal. Her kids (she drank at alcoholic levels while pg) are not big drinkers at all. Ok not scientific but there ya go.

I drank 2 large glasses of wine a week when I was recently pregnant. One on sat and one on sunday. Very relaxing it was too.

littleboyblue Sun 24-May-09 21:38:50

I had the odd drink through both pregnancies an both my ds's are fine.
Just be sensible with it, don't go on a bender and don't drink everyday and you and baby should be fine. I think I was having a glass or 2 a week when pregnant with ds1. IMO, you just have to do hat you are comfortable with, there is so much out there about what you should and shouldn't do during pregnancy, soon they'll be saying you shouldn't cross a road.

mummytopebs Sun 24-May-09 21:44:19

Mosschops i also had bereavement thorugh my pregnancy, both my nanas died and an uncle and i suffered with depression through my pregnancy. My midwife used to tell me off the record to go and have a glass of wine to chill myself out - i think as long as you are not drinking excessively then the danger must be minimal. Hope you are ok x

solidgoldSneezeLikeApig Sun 24-May-09 21:46:18

There is practically no danger in moderate drinking. To risk fetal alcohol syndrome you have to be on about two bottles of vodka a day and even then it's not an absolute foregone conclusion.
Most if not all of the scaremongering about drinking in pregnancy is about controlling female behaviour, not about health hazards at all.

Liskey Sun 24-May-09 21:53:44

Thats just reassured me as well - my gran died today and I was drinking some beer - and then worrying as I'm only 6 weeks along that it could do some harm.

littleboyblue Sun 24-May-09 21:55:18

Liskey So sorry about your gran sad
I'm sure you'll be fine after a beer or 2.

ScummyMummy Sun 24-May-09 21:58:05

My book (by that prof regan woman off the telly) says 2 units a week.

mosschops30 Sun 24-May-09 21:58:43

scummy, i had heard the 2 units a week thing

Liskey Sun 24-May-09 21:59:31

Thanks for that - littleboyblue - last time i was preganant i lost my taste for alcohol about 7/8 weeks in - it tasted foul. So I probably won't want to drink anymore soon either.

MrsMerryHenry Sun 24-May-09 22:00:16

I had occasional small drinks during pregnancy, but they became smaller and smaller so that by 6 months just a sip would make me woozy <<lightweight emoticon>>. So in the end I just gave up as I didn't want to be woozy with a massive pregnant belly. It made me a cheap date after pregnancy, though wink.

MrsMerryHenry Sun 24-May-09 22:00:37

Liskey - <<hugs>>

So sorry about your ran.

Ronaldinhio Sun 24-May-09 22:00:49

I'm so sorry to hear about your gran

I drank the odd glass of wine whenever I could stomach it during both my pregnancies.
The children are both fine and I think that a few glasses of wine won't have done any harm at all.

When my bp was very low my GP suggested a glass of red wine in the evenings..that was only 2 years ago.

Tillyscoutsmum Sun 24-May-09 22:00:59

My midwife "unofficially" told me 3 to 4 units per week but no more than 2 at one time iyswim

Liskey Sun 24-May-09 22:05:37

thanks for those messages and hugs - I'll think about going downstairs to see if we have any malt whisky in the house wink. Think I'll steer clear tonight.
Actually my DMIL told me she did drink whisky every night for 3 months before she realised she was pregnant with her youngest and he turned out fine.

Laugs Sun 24-May-09 22:07:07

The guidelines used to be 'no more than 2 units twice a week and don't get drunk'. This is quite a confused message in itself, because of the 'don't get drunk' line. Has anyone ever got drunk on 2 units? It's like they expect you to ignore them.

I believe they changed this in 2007 because it was confusing to tell people it's ok to drink such a small amount. However, I am currently pregnant and the printed material my midwife gave me - The Pregnancy Book - still says 2 units. They haven't even bothered to change it.

Personally, I'd think if you had a couple of glasses or a couple of pints a week, you would be fine.

You're doing brilliantly not smoking! Definitely keep that up, even if you do have a couple of drinks (Then again, if drinking makes you really want to smoke, it might be easier to stay away from both)

solidgoldSneezeLikeApig Sun 24-May-09 22:26:45

Well I drank while PG and my DS is not only fine but advanced for his age.

blondieminx Mon 25-May-09 00:46:07

The French carry on having the odd glass of wine while pg don't they, and all their babies seem to be fine! I asked my GP when I found out about the wine thing (as my 30th birthday was coming up) and she said it was fine to enjoy the occaisional glass.

Mosschops enjoy your vino and look after yourself. And v sorry to hear of your troubles. You have managed to kick the evil cigs so you have done your and your baby's health a huge favour already - so please don't beat yourself up about having a couple of glasses of mildy alcholic grape juice grin Cheers!

Peridot30 Mon 25-May-09 00:57:07

During both my pregnancies i had 1 small glass of wine for our anniversary and also one small glass of wine for my birthday.

I think each to their own but wouldnt over do it.

Jackaroo Mon 25-May-09 02:23:59

I think there is a big difference between reassuring the OP that a glass here or there is not going to be a problem, and giving the impression that it's a load of baloney.

More than 2 units (not glasses, units, which depending on the size of your glass could be 2 units per glass)at a time, more than once or twice a week has been directly linked to FAE (Foetal Alcohol Effects), which means behavourial issues rather than physical feature changes, and Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND). FAS can result after drinking consistently, even if not that might (ie 2 units every day).. which is still more than most mothers would contemplate, but certainly far less than "2 bottles of vodka a day".

It's extremely naive to state that "the french" are obviously OK, or "my child is fine" when so many papers have come up with results that are worth thinking about.

I'm NOT saying, don't have a drink, I have had a couple myself, but it's a bit like saying "well I didn't wear a car seat belt as a child, and I'm fine" - of course you are,you reached adulthood, but that doesn't mean that the incidence of death and serious injury in children isn't far lower if they are in a seat/belt (up to 80% less in fact).

It isn't just a UK issue, so it's not the government trying to keep us all in check, it's a worldwide problem. They know the even relatively small amounts of alcohol can have an effect, and it would be irresponsible of them to support (for want of a better word) drinking during pregnancy, once they have this knowledge.

If you want papers, links etc. I'm happy to provide, but I'm probably too late now, and everyone has left this thread.

Longtalljosie Mon 25-May-09 09:38:06

A large glass of wine is 3 units, most glasses of wine (with most wines) are 2.

Government advice used to 1-2 units per week max. They changed it recently to none - not because the scientific evidence had changed, but because they felt women tended to know what a unit was, and were interpreting that as 1-2 glasses per week, which isn't the same thing at all. The Health Secretary was quite open about this, I'm not conspiracy-theorying, honest.

Laugs Mon 25-May-09 09:49:44

It was 1-2 units once or twice a week, when I was pg in 2006.

To me, that means 2 small glasses of wine a week (or two pints of normal strength lager)is fine.

lalalonglegs Mon 25-May-09 09:56:00

I agree with solid that much of the panic about alcohol in pregnancy seems to be about controlling women's behaviour. The American Journal of Public Health concluded that alcohol intake of 14 units per week was not associated with any adverse outcomes for the baby. Their study looked at more than 12,000 women.

solidgoldSneezeLikeApig Mon 25-May-09 10:05:31

Jackaroo. 'Fetal Alcohol Effects' is, to be blunt, misogynistic bullshit from start to finish. The 'effects' described are a huge wide array of things, many of which are within the normal specturm of development anyway, others of which could have a variety of causes.
Much of this scaremongering crap comes from the US and originates with the deranged right-wing arseholes who are obsessed with 'fetal rights' and anti-choice activism.
Another factor is the increaded 'medicalisation' of childhood and of adult behavioru as well: you're not allowed to be different any more or you will be drugged into submission: 'behavioural issues' is another bullshit terms that can be used for labelling children who resist unfair or bullying adults such as an incompetent or spiteful teacher.

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