Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?
Pregnancy is accompanied by many dos and don’ts especially when it relates to food. There are things that an expectant woman should neither drink nor eat. Then there are those which do the body no harm when taken in minimal amounts.
During pregnancy, it can be difficult for you to adjust to a whole new lifestyle. The question is always whether the foods and drinks you enjoy are safe for your unborn child. One of the major concerns among expecting moms is the safety of beer and wine.
It is common for women to unwind with a glass of wine at the end of a long day or during an outdoor event. There are different sources of information from the internet and from friends on the exact effects of wine and beer. The ideas could be contrary to each other causing you confusion.
The safety of wine during pregnancy
You are probably aware that excessive drinking is the cause of many complications due to the alcoholic content. The risks associated with excessive drinking are very high as compared to those of occasional drinking. But, really is there an amount of alcohol that can be said to be safe during pregnancy? Well, the answer is no.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, no amount of wine is safe during pregnancy and wine consumption should be avoided at all costs.
Because alcohol increases the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome which occurs from excessive consumption of alcohol. The alcohol will most definitely pass through the placenta to the unborn baby and cause birth defects like:
- Physical abnormalities
- Mental retardation
The effects stay with the baby even after they are born and continue to grow.
Unfortunately, the amount of wine that can cause fetal alcohol syndrome has not be set as a standard point. Therefore, it is safer to avoid it from the onset.
Some obstetricians are of the thought that a glass of wine does no harm and only excessive wine consumption is bad. Nevertheless, remember that no alcohol has been found to be safe or benefit your baby.
The safety of beer during pregnancy
Just like wine, beer is not safe for consumption during pregnancy. Why?
Because the beer passes on through the placenta to the bloodstream of the placenta. The baby’s liver is not well developed to handle alcohol. If sometimes your body is unable to, what of that of an unborn child?
There is probably a low risk of any harmful effects of small amounts of beer in the first months of pregnancy. However, since there is no empirical evidence as to what the exact safe amount is, it is better to avoid it in the first place. You don’t want to give birth to a child with birth defects all because you wouldn’t sacrifice your cravings.
We could say that beer and wine have no effects when taken in small amounts. But really, that would be just a blind guess because we don’t know the standard amount of safety. The best and sure bet is to avoid wine and beer completely. You can always pick up where you left after you give birth.
Have you announced your pregnancy yet?
If not, here are a few creative ideas for pregnancy announcement: