This is especially for you, dear ladies, who are in the happy circumstances of being pregnant. What I am offering you here is what alcohol could do to your baby plus the collected expert opinions of doctors, scientists and national health institutes. Be aware that this issue is a bit controversial, but in the end it is just up to yourself to decide what the correct way is for you. I trust that I am going to give you enough information in order to decide whether you can safely drink a glass of wine during pregnancy.
So what are the effects of drinking alcohol?
Alcohol is a toxin. When you drink alcohol, it rapidly reaches your baby through the placenta, via your bloodstream. If you drink too much alcohol during pregnancy, it can permanently damage your developing baby’s cells. This could affect how your baby’s face, organs and brain grow.
Even if you drink a few glasses of wine during your pregnancy, the consequences could be dire. Except for a growth retardation, a lot of crying, having sleep and concentration problems, your baby could be borne with neurological damage, such as learning disabilities, a lower IQ, a bad memory or autism.
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
One of the worst consequences of drinking alcohol during pregnancy is FAS. A baby born with FAS could have damage to its central nerve system, kidneys and heart. It could also have a limited capacity for thinking.
So how much alcohol is too much?
One small glass of alcohol during a special occasion or a nice dinner should be ok or not? Unfortunately it is not yet known how much alcohol could be already harmful. Every woman and baby are different and react differently, so the effect of alcohol differs from person to person.
FAS can occur if you drink more than 6 glasses a day, but also at moments where you drink more than 6 glasses. A few glasses of wine, divided over the whole period of pregnancy cannot give your child FAS, but they can have the consequences listed before.
Some doctors say that a glass of wine now and then is not dangerous. In the first three months of pregnancy you can drink two glasses of wine per week and during the last six months it is even permitted to consume a glass of wine each day. Absolutely forbidden though is getting drunk, whilst drinking more than before the pregnancy is not on the line either.
According to National Health Councils and some doctors the only safe option is: do not drink alcohol when you try to conceive or during pregnancy at all. This is because we simply do not know if there is a threshold – a minimum dose – whereby the use of alcohol really can be called safe for the unborn baby.
To be absolutely safe, alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy and even in the months before conception, however, it has not been proven in which quantities alcohol starts to have an adverse effect on an unborn baby.
Having said this, you should take care not to create unnecessary fears or feelings of guilt. A mother with a cry baby should not have to feel guilty, because she drank a glass of wine at some special occasion. Even at the beginning of a pregnancy, mothers might not yet be aware and therefore consume some alcohol. Try not to worry. The more important thing is to cut out alcohol, or at least be careful about how much you drink, as soon as you find out that you’re expecting.
As I said before, it is really up to you, but I do hope that this post will give you enough information to make sound decisions by yourself. Have a happy pregnancy and birth! After that, feel free to visit again and find out how many excellent Chardonnays there are worldwide. Access to world class Chardonnays can be gained by clicking on the images to the right (for mobile users just under this text).
Let me know if you have any questions and I will come back to them within 24 hours.