Drinking Wine While Pregnant

You will hear people say different opinions when you ask about drinking wine while pregnant. Some say it is okay to sip a little champagne occasionally during your pregnancy, while others say you should avoid it at all cost. You may even meet a woman who says she indulged in the occasional small glass of merlot while she was pregnant and her child was completely healthy. Still, it feels you're taking an unnecessary risk by combining drinking and pregnancy together. Keep reading to learn exactly how risky it can be to drink while you're pregnant.

Is Drinking Wine While Pregnant Safe?

Everyone agrees to the fact that excessive drinking during pregnancy will lead to certain complications, but occasionally drinking is usually safe. However, the best thing is to avoid even casual drinking while you're pregnant. The American Pregnancy Association, the American College of Obstetricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics have confirmed that no amount of wine is safe during pregnancy. It means drinking wine while pregnant can cause several issues and even harm your baby in some ways.

What Effects Could Alcohol Have in Your Baby?

The simple thing to understand is that when you drink wine during pregnancy, your baby is doing the same. Would you like your child to drink wine? You have to understand that the amount of alcohol in your blood is also there in the blood of your baby because your blood passes through the placenta and reaches your baby through the umbilical cord.

Even if you've consumed a small amount of alcohol, the small body of your baby isn't capable to handle it. Your baby's liver is too small to break down the alcohol in the blood. It means drinking wine while pregnant can lead your baby to several health conditions, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) or fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which can hamper your baby's development. Your baby may develop vision problems, have birth defects and have behavior problems. Drinking may also cause your baby to be born too soon, have sleeping problems, and have speech and language delays.

Are There Any Evidences That Show Alcohol Will Affect the Baby?

It is common to question the authenticity of the claim that drinking wine while pregnant isn't safe for your baby. Here are some researches that can help you make the decision of drinking or not.

  • ŸIn 2013, the University of Queensland conducted a study and found that pregnant women who drank as little as two glasses of wine per drinking session had children with performance issues at school.
  • ŸIn 2012, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research confirmed that reduced birth length, smooth philtrum, microcephaly and thin vermillion border are some of the issues associated with drinking alcohol at certain times during pregnancy.
  • ŸAnother study in 2012 showed that low amounts of alcohol consumption may increase the overall risk of spontaneous abortion. It also showed that there is a connection between low to moderate levels of drinking during pregnancy and several problems such as stillbirth, miscarriage, sudden infant death syndrome and preterm delivery.

All this confirms that drinking wine while pregnant isn't safe even if you think you're drinking in small amounts.

What If You Have Had Few Drinks Before You Know You Were Pregnant?

Stay calm and ensure that you don't drink again throughout your pregnancy. The better idea is to stop drinking completely while you're trying to conceive to ensure you don't end up drinking accidently when you're already pregnant.

What Can You Do to Avoid Alcohol?

It is now clear that you should avoid drinking wine while pregnant. It may not be that easy though, especially if you've been drinking heavily for quite some time now. Here are a few tips to help you give up alcohol safely.

  • Avoid attending parties or visiting bars where you usually drink
  • Ask your family, partner and friends to help you avoid alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water to ensure you don't feel thirsty
  • Stay active and exercise regularly to release endorphins that prevent cravings
  • Take a bath or try meditation to keep stress away
  • Ask your healthcare provider for advice if you're finding it difficult to leave alcohol
  • Meet other mums who have managed to quit drinking or join an Alcoholics Anonymous support group
  • Check the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s website or call (800) 662-HELP (662-4357)