Alcohol During Pregnancy

Hey Guys,

I just wanted to bring this article to everyone’s attention. For my presentation in a few weeks I will be discussing alcohol and substance use during pregnancy, but I just wanted to share this since it was published a little over a week ago in a magazine (Cosmopolitan) that caters to women of reproductive age. The article discusses how the author, Michelle Ruiz, would casually drink a couple glasses of wine or beer a week during her pregnancy and even suggests that up to 8 glasses is acceptable. Drinking during pregnancy has been an increasing topic as there have been a few new pregnancy books published that say drinking is okay. She sites one danish study and references many of her doctor and nurse friends that say casually drinking a little everyweek is okay. As you read the article it becomes clear that the use of alcohol during pregnancy is rooted in culture. She talks about how generations before drank and smoked during their pregnancy and “here we all are”. Drinking during pregnancy is a growing topic as more and more people are testing this “dirty little secret” that is happening among “college-educated, employed women in their late 30s” according to Michelle Ruiz.

2 thoughts on “Alcohol During Pregnancy

  1. Hey, Raine. Thank you for your post, for you opened my eyes to the opposition against prohibiting alcohol during pregnancy. At first, I hesitated to read the article because of its source of Cosmopolitan; however, I am glad that I read it. To begin with, I did not realize that a population of people, the “college-educated, employed women in their late 30s”, have begun a trend in consuming alcohol during pregnancy. I, like many of the comments below the article, criticize any intake of alcohol during pregnancy, which probably stems from my biased knowledge on the topic. As a result, I dug deeper into this article by exploring the attached research. The “several foreign studies” that “have all but endorsed low to moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy” also state that binge drinking does not cause adverse effects on neurodevelopment of children. However, the author of this article also includes the conclusions of a study that explains that heavy drinking can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or low attention span. Therefore, I question the validity of this article, for the sources seem to present contradicting ideas. Of course, Cosmopolitan does not screen articles like the Lancet does, but this opinion piece may communication incorrect information without the proper research. Nonetheless, the prospect of an entire presentation on the relationship between alcohol consumption and pregnancy intrigues me. I look forward to your presentation.

  2. Yes, like these women, I have intelligent, masters-trained friends who have consumed alcohol during pregnancy. They have stated that their physicians say it is okay. She drank 1/2 glass of red wine, and I drank the other half. Her baby turned out just fine. I also know other people who do it casually after organs have formed, etc. later on in the pregnancy. It seems safer.

    It’s almost like a gamble. People know these possible effects, and yet they still do it anyway. They are weighing the costs/benefits. Nothing is guaranteed, however. The only thing that is guaranteed is this: no chance of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders if no alcohol consumption. I am a firm believer in the CDC, so:

    I think part of this whole deal may be the lack of randomized-control trial evidence. Obviously there are no studies because of ethical issues regarding a known teratogen and a pregnant woman, but that would probably be the only good way to determine “how much is too much”. Even then…it can vary from woman to woman, pregnancy to pregnancy.

    As someone who believes in choice, choice, choice with respect to reproductive health, I think it is these women’s choices to make these decisions. As long as their providers have discussed it with them thoroughly, a woman may do (and will do) what she wants to do. Almost like the pro-vaccine physician who denies care to anti-vaccine families, what do you think about an OB-GYN who wants to deny care to a woman who drinks during her pregnancy? Okay/not okay? In both cases, the patients are going against their doctor’s advice. A doctor they say they trust.

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