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October 6th, 2010
05:26 PM ET

Study: Pregnant women can drink.. a little

For years doctors have warned pregnant women not to drink, because studies had shown that consuming alcohol while carrying a child, could affect the baby's development after birth.

Now new research suggests that light drinking, such as a glass or two of wine a week, does not harm a young child.

Investigators found that youngsters of mothers who drank one or two 8 oz. glasses of alcohol a week during their pregnancies had no problems with their behavioral or intellectual development by the time they turned five.

The study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at 11,500 children born between September 2000 and January 2002. Their mothers were asked to fill in a diary regarding alcohol consumption for two weeks and were interviewed in person about their drinking habits while they were pregnant.

The women were placed in one of five categories: teetotal; those who drank but not in pregnancy; light drinkers (one to two glasses per week); moderate (three to six glasses a week or three to five at one sitting); and binge or heavy drinkers (seven or more glasses a week or six at one sitting).

The study showed of those women, just under 6% of them never drank and 60 percent abstained during pregnancy. About 26 percent of the mothers claimed they were light drinkers, while 5.5 percent said they fell into the moderate drinker category and 2.5 percent confessed to being binge or heavy drinkers.

Researchers discovered that children whose mothers had been heavy drinkers were more likely to be hyperactive and have emotional problems more than those whose mothers abstained during pregnancy.

But the important discovery says the study's author was there was no evidence to suggest that the babies born of mothers classified as light drinkers, (those who had no more than one or two glasses of alcohol a week) were at all harmed. In fact, data showed these babies were 30% less likely to have behavioral problems and had higher scores in mental development tests than those babies born of women who abstained in pregnancy.

"This isn't about heavy consumption or fetal alcohol syndrome in any sense or about binge-drinking," says author Dr Yvonne Kelly of University College London's department of epidemiology and public health. "It is about the occasional drink and whether that is associated with developmental problems."

The authors had already published their results for children up to the age of three. This latest paper follows them to the age of five, to make sure there is no longer after effect of the alcohol their mothers drank during pregnancy.

Kelly did acknowledge that women who drank occasionally tended to be from more advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and said they did take that factor into account when they worked on their data.

But pediatric experts warn this study does not give the green light for pregnant women to drink. They say each mother and each baby are different and pregnant women should talk to their obstetricians about the needs of their unborn child, before they start sipping on spirits.


soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Diet-myths

    Its still not worth risking it in anyway. Why put your kid at risk for something like that that you can easily control. Seems to give pregnant women just even a little back up to drink, which is wrong to me.

    http://Www.diet-myths.com

    October 6, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JDM

      Did you read the article? Why risk having a better behaved, more mentally developed (smarter) child by drinking 1-2 glasses per week!? Doctors should be prescribing alcohol to pregnant women given the results reported in this study. The primary issue is that not everyone can control their # of drinks. So, the risk is not due to alcohol consumption, but rather the lack of moderation that some may exhibit.

      October 7, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • CR

      So are you saying that I cannot have a well behaved, intellectually developed child unless I drink? Please. That's probably the dumbest thing I've heard all week.

      October 7, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
    • Please Read

      Actually, what I think the better point that JDM brings up is that there were NO risks associated with light drinking. In fact, the children of women who were light drinkers had less behaivor problems than women who drinked at all.

      When you say something like, "Why risk it?" its clear you havent read the article posted here. The appropriate response is, "Risk what?" because this study suggests that there are no risks. Instead of risks, there are some benefits.

      Ultimately, the decision needs be made by each individual and their caregiver. But its not really valid to say why risk it, when there are no risks.

      October 7, 2010 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
    • JDM

      Please Read: Thank you for addressing the comment. Totally agree with you. As presented in the article, what has historically been considered a "risk" may be a "benefit". The risk of women going beyond light drinking or uninformed or mis-use of information from not reading or understanding research results (e.g. CR) is the real hazard here.

      October 7, 2010 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      Who funded this research?? An alcoholic beverage company. I will NEVER understand why people are so obsessed with drinking. You can't drink for 9 months, stop acting like you're being deprived of food or shelter.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • JDM

      abstaining is NOT what this article is about! It suggests that even if you have never had alcohol... ever in your life... there is likely a BENEFIT to your child if you pick-up light drinking during pregnancy. Why is research so hard for some people to comprehend? I guess that is why there are bell shaped curves for our kids. Thanks Angie... please don't drink, and encourage all you know to not drink, during pregnancies... for the benefit of the more informed parents' kids.

      October 7, 2010 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
    • JDM

      Angie: Abstaining is NOT what this article is about! It suggests that even if you have never had alcohol... ever in your life... there is likely a BENEFIT to your child if you pick-up light drinking during pregnancy. Why is research so hard for some people to comprehend? I guess that is why there are bell shaped curves for our kids. Thanks Angie... please don't drink, and encourage all you know to not drink, during pregnancies... for the benefit of the more informed parents' kids.

      October 7, 2010 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
    • Just the Facts

      It is important to note that the article mentioned that women who tended toward light drinking generally came from higher socioeconomic backgrounds (thus implying the potential for higher intelligence). It's not fair to say that the child of a woman who engaged in light alcohol consumption during her pregnancy would be 30% better developed, only that a child born to a woman of higher socioeconomic status would be more likely to mirror the mother's intellectual abilities (intelligent parents breed intelligent children).

      October 19, 2010 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • Trina

      Just the Facts: Thanks for pointing out what should have been obvious! The one's who think that women should have a few drinks every week in order to improve their kids' intelligence are idiots themselves!!! Unbelieveable!!

      December 9, 2010 at 07:39 | Report abuse |
  2. Kati

    I had small amounts of alcohol while pregnant (at most, a third of a glass of wine at a time, and probably only once a month), and my kid came out perfectly fine. Alcohol isn't tobacco; there IS a safe and healthy amount of alcohol, even for pregnant women and their fetuses. Cigarettes and tobacco, on the other hand, are bad in any amount.

    October 7, 2010 at 03:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Susan T

      How do you know your child doesn't have a birth defect that will be discovered later in life? That is selfish to drink or smoke during a pregnancy.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Wow, way to pile on guilt, Kati, since we all know mothers need MORE guilt. If this woman's child had any BIRTH defects, it would have been discovered already. If the child has health problems later in life as an adult, it is most likely the result of his/her own choices and not because his/her mother had a couple of glasses of wine during her pregnancy.

      I can't wait to see how guilt tripped YOU are in 10 or 20 years when parents of the future are telling you, "I can't believe you ate McDonalds!" or "I can't believe you used pitocin during labor! What's wrong with you????"

      October 7, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • ABK

      Susan – I had two beers when I was pregnant with my daughter. She's now an honor student at MIT, so bite me with your self-righteousness.

      October 7, 2010 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
    • gadzilla

      I'm sorry, a third of a glass of wine once a month? What for, why bother? Two or three tablespoons of wine is a useless endeavor. I hardly ever drink and I've never been pregnant, but if all your getting is a sip, it's really kind of pointless. If you can't say "no" to that...maybe I'm missing something but I just don't get it.

      October 7, 2010 at 20:36 | Report abuse |
    • gadzilla

      ABK – as much as I agree with Susan and I think you are an ignorant and selfish hole, I will not bite you – I refuse to put anything nasty in my mouth. Ewwww.

      October 7, 2010 at 20:51 | Report abuse |
    • NAP

      In Europe pregnant women are told that a few small glasses of wine a week is ok. FACT – Europe does not have an increased problem with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or a higher number of children with behavioral issues and actually has a lower rate of infant mortality. Pregnant women should be more concerned with the amount of sugar/soda/crap food they consume.

      November 16, 2010 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      Why bother with a third of a glass? Because some of us truly enjoy the flavor of a nice wine. Wine really enhances food, and I just enjoy a nice cabernet or shiraz. I had a few half-glasses of wine during both of my pregnancies (not during the first trimester).

      I have 2 intelligent, beautiful, mostly healthy daughters. And to head off stupid questions, the few health problems they have were caused by prematurity (due to my weak cervix), not alcohol.

      December 15, 2010 at 09:51 | Report abuse |
  3. Kelly van den Berg

    In pregnancy you can only control certain things. One of them is what you eat and pass on to your unborn child. Why anyone cannot abstain from the occasional glass of wine for 40 weeks I will never understand. And why people are wasting time on conducting this study us beyond me. There has to be something more productive to spend money on!

    October 7, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cole

      Because it's important to get closer to and understand the these functions. It may not seem like a big deal, but little bits of information like this helps us understand more about how the human body reacts with alcohol provides additional information about pregnancy.

      As for it being an end-all risk, it was just a century ago that alcohol (and a tons of other stuff) was recommended for pregnancy and everything else. In excess, it'll cause harm. In moderation, who knows? Isn't it important that we make an effort to find out, rather than just make assumptions?

      October 7, 2010 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
    • d

      As you note there are only a few things people can control. Since being born is kind of a big deal for people, getting it right isn't a waste of research time or money. They study shows that a small amount of wine is ok or even better than no wine.

      When you had your child you did what was to the best of your knowledge best for your child, knowledge is changing, and hopefully will continue to.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • Susan T

      Well said Kelly. This study is not an absolute truth. Next week there will be a study saying that even the smallest amount of alcohol during pregnancy causes birth defects.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:42 | Report abuse |
  4. Amy

    Why would you take the chance? It's not hard to obstain from drinking for 9 months. I'm pregnant and would never drink while pregnant. It's just not worth the risk. What if?

    October 7, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JDM

      read post above: Did you read the article? Why risk having a better behaved, more mentally developed (smarter) child by drinking 1-2 glasses per week!? Doctors should be prescribing alcohol to pregnant women given the results reported in this study. The primary issue is that not everyone can control their # of drinks. So, the risk is not due to alcohol consumption, but rather the lack of moderation that some may exhibit.

      October 7, 2010 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • Susan T

      Good for you Amy. There is no excuse for drinking and smoking while being pregnant.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Nothing is going to happen to a fetus from a single glass of wine. Obviously getting tanked every other night while you're pregnant is a stupid idea, but the occasional wine or beer is not going to hurt anything. In fact, there are health benefits to moderate alcohol consumption that have been documented over and over again. Besides, there are likely much more dangerous things you ARE putting into your pregnant body right now than a glass of wine... aspartame, anyone?

      October 7, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • JDM

      Amy: "What if" you choose to abstain and your child is not as well-behaved or as mentally developed as he/she could have been because his/her mom did not fully read or comprehend the latest research?

      October 7, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
    • gadzilla

      According to ABK two beers during pregnancy will net you an MIT honor student, so don't hold back! Drink up ladies, two forty ouncers and your child may be a genius!

      October 7, 2010 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
    • JDM

      gadzilla: Odds are Amy's child will only be an MIT student if more people who don't understand research findings keep abstaining from drinking. So please, all who are reading this, please do not drink during pregnancy..... (the rest of us will have children that have a 30% greater chance of success). given, I am defining success as kids that are not trouble makers and who are relatively smart to their piers.... I'm okay with that interpretation. If you are not, again, please stop drinking!

      October 7, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Hey JDM – the research doesn't prove that minimal alcohol consumption during pregnancy results in smarter children. It only proves that minimal drinking won't hurt your child's development. This research just strengthens the claim that better educated, well-fed parents raise smarter, more well-adjusted children.

      November 9, 2010 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      The "what if?" argument is ridiculous. Why can't you abstain from flying for 9 months? or from driving even 1 mph over the speed limit? or from eating a brownie?

      December 15, 2010 at 10:14 | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Get back to me when you make up your mind.

    Ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf? That's what these studies are. I've stopped adjusting my life according to "recommendations".

    October 7, 2010 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      Amen, Jeff. Next week we will be reading about a study stating the opposite – there are always "real" experts somewhere waiting to refute what the previous experts were telling us.

      October 7, 2010 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
  6. Barb

    It's not drinking, it's EXCESSIVE drinking which is the harmful factor. We don't always have to be all or nothing. At the risk of getting snotty comments, my mother smoked and drank lightly during her 3 pregnancies. Not only were the 3 of us healthy, we were all over 8.5 pounds and have no health problems. My aunt, who neither drank nor smoke all have 5 pund abbies, all of whom have asthma and allergies. Genetics and a moderate lifestyle play a big big role.

    October 7, 2010 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lauren

      Unfortunately, the cigarettes and alcohol did not mentally help you learn to spell.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • gadzilla

      For women who think that light drinking and smoking are okay during pregnancy, that is there choice. But when you share your blood with this growing person inside you, and you think it's okay to inundate that baby with liquor and nicotine, I think that is selfish. Let me ask you this – would you give an infant or toddler a cigarette or a beer? No? Then why is it okay to force them on your embryo/fetus/unborn baby? Just asking.

      October 7, 2010 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
  7. Jim

    Overprotective puritan attitudes are why some try to impose their standards on others. Those who don't understand why a woman would not totally abstain from a glass of wine every so often during pregnancy, are also those that will have over protective enabled children, with compulsive disorders later in life. Mommies and daddies can have lives and still be good parents, even though the helicopter parents are looking down their up turned noses at those that choose their own path to parenthood. I'd like to see the pics of the non drinking mothers (200+ lbs) that criticize those that do...I'd also like to see pics of their kids at about age 10 or 11 (100+lbs). Anyone that criticizes why a mother can't abstain from a glass or two of wine a week, but is in excess of 135lbs, should really question WHO has better self control and passing better habits on to their child. Confident parents who enjoy coffee or wine, OR over protective, abolitionist, compulsive eaters…I know which one I choose to be. BTW, I have 3 from 15 down to 9yrs old, all A students, all complimented on the manners they have in public and all with normal BMI. My wife (European) just gave birth to healthy twin girls, and indulged in a glass or two of wine and a Starbucks on occasion during pregnancy...healthy, happy and being raised by well adjusted confident parents. I detest Europeanism, but on the subject of light drinking during pregnancy, they can teach the abolitionists in this country something.

    October 7, 2010 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cm

      Please, do your research before claiming that children with compulsive disorders are that way because of the way their parents raise them. I have a child with O.C.D. and it is a brain dysfunction and most of the time, is genetic. Being overprotective cannot give a child true O.C.D. In my son's case, my mother has it, I do not, but my genes carried it over to him. As far as an occasional glass of wine during pregnany goes, I think that every woman knows her own body and what she and her baby can handle. I do not think havng an occasional drink is harmful, but most women, especially in early pregnancy, will be sick from any alcohol. I know just the smell of it would make me sick. Our bodies know what is good for us and what is not. However, I do believe that most women in our society have a complete lack of knowledge when it comes to pregnancy and givng birth in general. If we spent a little more time on focusing on our bodies and understanding the birthing options out there rather than blindly listening to what society and the medical industry tells us, we would have healthier babies and better birth experiences in general. Most people spend more time researching a new car stereo than everything that their bodies are doing during pregnancy.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • Susan T

      Jim, you are an idiot.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Susan T....you are the issue I'm talking about. A narcissistic militant name caller who believes everyone should blindly follow their personal view of how everyone in the world should behave.

      CM...what research are YOU quoting? None. My research is watching parents I know, hover over their children to "protect" them against everything that COULD happen. Then give in to every want and desire those same children demand from their parents. Next time you say "no" and then give in, remember that OCD isn't just easily dismissed as genetic, but often constructed through the environment of parents who can't bear to see their children sad. THAT is what is sad.

      Yup, 3 socially well trained healthy kids, and two happy healthy twins...I'm the idiot. And good day to you to, "helicopters".

      October 7, 2010 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
    • sjohnson

      Hmm,
      While I do agree with you that a couple glasses of wine won't do the child any harm, I question your remarks on anyone that " is in excess of 135lbs" when you should know that there is a healthy weight range (calculated by your bmi) that depends upon height. As for me I would be underweight if I weighed 135, so I think you should get your facts straight on everything you say before you make a post. And no I'm not overweight I'm at a very healthy bmi.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • gadzilla

      Thank goodness perfect people like you and your european wife (obviously smarter than an American woman, and oh so worldly) chose to procreate. At least there's one perfect family in the world.

      October 7, 2010 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Well written, Jim!

      You have a bunch of women and men looking down on those that choose to have an OCCASIONAL drink during their pregnancy but they don't say anything to the women at McDonald's, too lazy to get off their couches for a 30 minute walk, and/or those who continue to drink copious amounts of caffeine.

      If we all worry about our own bodies, we'll be just fine!

      October 26, 2010 at 17:14 | Report abuse |
  8. Kate

    I would just like to point out that the study referenced in this article mentioned that the women only kept a journal of their alcohol consumption for 2 weeks of their pregnancies – there is no way that is indicative to an average pregnancy, which lasts approximately 40 weeks. Two weeks is in no way equal or comparable to 40 weeks. Do we know if these women drank during the first, second or third trimester? That might be important for future studies to consider.

    October 7, 2010 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • d

      Looks like the researchers also did an interview. Its not clear which was the deciding classifier. I'd assume that they'd use the interview to discuss the whole pregnancy as a base level, and then try and glean specific patterns from the 2 week diary. Most likely they avoided a long tern diary in fears that people wouldn't continue to accurately fill it out for such an extended period.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • Please Read

      D is right – they didnt go by the diary alone, they also interviewed each applicant individually. From a two week diary, you can get a pretty good idea of the general trend of people's eating habits (along with other questions) to form them into the groups that were mentioned in the study. They looked at 11,500 kids – can you imagine the amount of data (and probably useless data at that) they would accumulate if they tracked the daily diet of these mothers throughout the entire pregnancy!! They didnt base the study on the exact amount of drinks per pregnancy – they based it on the tendancies of the mothers. If anything, I would imagine mothers would underestimate their consumption based on the social stimga attached to drinking while pregnant. That means that the risks of light consumption during pregnancy are even further reduced.

      October 7, 2010 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
  9. Jenoside

    Jim... really? I agree with most of your sentiments, but 135 lbs? Why that cutoff? If I weighed 135 lbs, I would look anorexic (and probably be eating like one, too). That's an awfully arbitrary weight to choose as healthy. The healthy range for a 5'-8" woman (like myself) is 126 lbs to 167 lbs. Just... uh... wow.

    As for the article, why are women so mean and judgmental? Everyone responding to this with "Why wouldn't you just abstain for 9 months?" are probably also the women that can't imagine someone not breast feeding. I say to each their own... if you enjoy the taste of wine and/or beer why NOT have one every so often? And if you choose to formula feed in order to keep your sanity or because you don't produce enough milk, why should you be judged on that decision? Let's just live and let live!

    October 7, 2010 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      jenoside. I agree with your points, especially on the snobbiness of breast feeding over formula. My wife breast feeds, but only produces enough for 1 baby so we must augment due to having twins....btw...135 pulled out of a hat, definitely several body types, I'm making a point about pot and kettle only. I'm against the "bubble wrap" society trying to cram their narrow focus of how others should live based on their own behavior. Kind of the Nancy Grace ivory tower syndrome of late in this country.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
  10. mary

    the fact is that so many women who take the high-horse "moral" position of "why would yout u even risk it?" would never say that about drinking a cup of coffee now and then (many drink one or more a day), or taking an allergy or sleeping pill, decongestant or ibuprofen to alleviate physical discomfort. People, esp. Americans. have an association with activities like drinking or smoking to corruption or immorality and it ends up being a judgmental standard that makes women who want an occasional glass of wine to relax feel like criminals. I know plenty of 100% teetotallers who never gave up their daily lattes while pregnant, even though there is more hard evidence to suggest that this correlates with specific risks than light alcohol consumption. Women have a hard enough time while pregnant without judging and condemning one another for what are essentially low-risk behaviors.

    October 7, 2010 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Realla

    This article surprised me, but makes a little sense. For centuries the go-to drink for every meal, for everyone (men, kids, women, pregnant women), was watered down wine or beer. This was because drinking water was unsafe (ie, unsterilized) and the alcohol helped kill viruses and bacteria that cause disease, illness, or death. The availability of treated water has pretty much wiped out this practice, I believe.

    However, if humans have favored light drinking for centuries (the equivalent being one or two modern glasses/week versus the ancient 1-3(?) diluted glasses/day), it makes sense that our bodies have adapted to this drinking level, even for pregnancy. Still, I won't be drinking while I'm pregnant. No science finding is authoritative or a basis to change one's behavior until its been around for a few decades and so has been tested by many scientists, many times, for the long-term.

    To Jeff:
    I'm with you. I just think it is a pity how sensationalist science journalism undermines legitimate science credentials and discoveries.

    October 7, 2010 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. QueenZola

    There have been several studies that suggest problems like Fetal Alcohol Syndrom and hyperactivity are truly associated with binge and heavy drinking, not the occational glass of wine or drink. My mother drank occationally and all four of us are highly intelligent, educated, productive members of society. All of us have IQ's at or above genius level. Until about 25 years ago, people didn't see any problem with drinking while pregnant, because most people were born perfectly fine. 25-30 years ago is about when the conditions associated with heavy drinking started to be diagnosed. Like most other medical reactions, this one was in the extreme.

    It was the same with caffeine. My MIL's doctor told her she couldn't even have white chocolate because some traces of caffeine could still be present. Now researchers have realized that moderate amounts of caffeine pose no risk unless you have a history of miscarriages, then it may increase your risk of another. Other than that, that morning cup of tea or coffee doesn't make a bit of difference. Just don't over do it. In the coming years the same will be proven without a doubt about alcohol. I'm pregnant now, I don't drink simply because I haven't read enough evidence either way to be comfortable, but I'm not going to judge another woman if she is.

    October 7, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Drinker

      That doctor was crazy considering there is no actual chocolate in white chocolate.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:53 | Report abuse |
    • QueenZola

      I think the thought process was white chocolate is cocoa butter, which is extracted from the cacao bean that has caffeine. Therefore, it's not chocolate, but it may still have some traces of caffeine. Regardless, it's BS.

      October 7, 2010 at 12:13 | Report abuse |
  13. Jolene

    Its best not to drink at all while you are pregnant. Its not gonna kill the mom-to-be to give up the booze for nine months. Don`t be selfish like that.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. opnn8d

    I thought too much wine was what caused pregnancy.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • QueenZola

      Then you need to go back to health class.

      October 7, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Moko

      Zola, learn to recognize humor, alright?

      October 7, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • QueenZola

      Moko: Learn to recognize humor in response to humor. Alright?

      October 7, 2010 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  15. michael

    This is a wholly irresponsible report. I have personally seen a slurring drunk pregnant woman at a bar recently. Appalled by this i asked her how she could do this to her baby. Her response was her doctor told her it was ok to drink. Obviously she went past the said allotted amount, but this is the risk you take when you allow a potentially harmful thing into a fragile thing like a pregnancy.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Obviously an example to the extreme. Moderation in eating, drinking, exercise, tv watching, gifts for children...that should be the message. Not knee jerk condemnation of those that make choices that really aren't harmful, but because the demonization happened to caffeine and alcohol decades ago, this misconception lingers and stigmatizes those that don't buy into the disapproving society standard. I see people driving cars with infants in the back seats, and we ALL know how dangerous cars are. Do the holier than thou bunch all abstain from driving with their infant in the car to go somewhere, why can't someone sacrifice driving with an infant until the child is 18? Sounds pretty irresponsible to subject a child to such a statistically dangerous thing....

      October 7, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • QueenZola

      Sadly, I have a hard time believing that woman would have stopped drinking no matter what her doctor said.

      October 7, 2010 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      Your reaction is why doctors have to give all or nothing extremes. The article clearly states that light drinking is ok – that woman at the bar has an obvious drinking problem. I would like to think that the average american can distinguish between 1 drink a week and binge drinking at the bar but the more comments I read in responses to this article show I am overestimating the general public.

      October 7, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  16. Debbie

    personally alcohol or even the thought of it made me retch when I was pregnant, as did most meat and fish, but I've always thought an occaisional drink was harmless.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Rose

    A glass of wine or beer or mixed drink w/dinner a couple times a week is not going to harm a fetus in any way.
    Far more dangerous are the artificial flavors, colors and preservatives found in overly processed foods. A bit
    of alcohol is less dangerous than a Red Velvet Cupcake for instance, yet no one rallies about that. Women of
    child bearing years and already pregnant women should concentrate on getting the good -natural- food in and
    not so much an occasional drink or two.
    I believe that problems like ADD, ADHD and obesity are a result of all the junk food that is consumed. That is
    what we should be warning pregnant women about.
    BTW, I am healthy, over 60 and my children are smart, successful adults thinking about starting their own
    families and this is the advice I will give.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Rose:
      You claim that "A glass of wine or beer or mixed drink w/dinner a couple times a week is not going to harm a fetus in any way.", how do you know this? Do you have research to back this up? It is unwise to make claims of absolution without adequate support. Furthermore, I hope that you are not a baker. While many pre-packaged "red velvet cupcakes" are artificially colored, one can make red velvet cupcakes without artificial coloring by using vinegar and certain types of cocoa powder. Also, there is natural vegetable based food coloring that can be used to color cupcakes or other foods. You have a definite point about being mindful of preservatives, artificial colors, flavors et cetera. in food, but making absolute statements inappropriately undermines your argument. I also hope that you are not a doctor of medicine, sociology, or psychology because ADD/ADHD has little to nothing to do with "junk food", unless of course you are referring to toxins and not the sugars, starches, et cetera. However, encouraging women, and all people to eat healthier more natural foods is a fantastic idea. The fact that your children are healthy and successful does not make purposely consuming (and passing on to your fetus) a TOXIN a.k.a. a teratogen (any agent that interferes with normal embryonic development: alcohol or thalidomide or X-rays or rubella are examples [wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn]) a good idea, a healthy idea, or a justifiable action.

      October 18, 2010 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
  18. Drinker

    Of course it is safe. We are paranoid and over protective now and there are more children with autism and ADD then there were when mothers a generation ago drank and smoked throughout their pregnancy. I think smoking is bad at anytime for anyone but a few glasses of wine isn't going to hurt.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Cindy

    We sure do have a lot of doctors amongst us telling us that drinking is okay and as for the studies they have been known to be extremely unreliable at times. Just because your child turned out perfectly fine doesn't mean that the next one will with a mother that drinks. One would think that the health of a child would be more important than a glass of wine every once and now and then, the percentages are low, still those percentages can always come back to haunt them. It is rather a selfish act if you ask me and as parents you should want to give your child the best of everything...especially a healthy body and mind!!

    October 7, 2010 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. A guy

    This is why being a dude is so much better.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. r2d2

    For all of those who say the occasional drink during pregnancy is a horrible idea and that they would never do it, how many hamburgers or fast food meals did you eat while pregnant? Did you eat completely, 100% healthy meals? Did you ever speed in your car or drive across a parking lot with your seatbelt unfastened? Did you use completely green/natural cleaners and never eat out of a plastic container?

    The point is, there are risks associated with everything, it's just choosing wisely and applying the concept of moderation. Avoiding ALL risk is impossible, making smart and well-informed choices is not.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. SeanNJ

    Perhaps if the baby's first nine months weren't spent in some ridiculously "sterile" environment, we wouldn't have had such an increase in autism/food allergies/etc.

    I fear all this caution is doing more harm than good.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lavendar

      Are you suggesting that if women drink during pregnancy, the kid will be LESS likely to have asthma or autism?? I think you need to research the theoretical causes of autism and asthma, because they have nothing to do with what the mother consumes during pregnancy and much more to do with environmental toxins and gene combinations.

      October 7, 2010 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
  23. JD

    a little alcohol...no problem In my 2 pregnancies..I would have a beer once and while. My kids are fine. IN my second pregnancy I would have one beer say every say 3 weeks. And more often would take a small sip (which is NOTHING) from my husbands. I was absolutely responsible about it. ONce in awhile will not hurt. I was very conscious of what I should and should not do during pregnancy. My kids are perfectly healthy and on track.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Bravo JD. But I'm sure you didn't tell anyone, because all the know it all, I read an article once crowd would have crucified you. 100's of thousands of years of humankind, putting all sorts of un-sterilized, fermented, soiled food and drink into our bodies, I think nature has put several cleaning systems in place to not only protect the host, but the symbiot. Anyone heard of kidneys or livers?

      October 7, 2010 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
  24. Alex

    It's amazing to me that it's so hard for some people to give up alcohol for 9 months.

    October 7, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ABK

      I'd rather drink a glass of wine during pregnancy than eat McDonalds. In fact, I'm willing to bet MSG has more to do with detriment to development than alcohol does.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  25. Joanne

    Did CNN even bother to look at the source of this study? There was no clinical testing regarding the impact on the children, instead, the report was based upon the mothers OPINIONS of how their children were doing. The study is flawed in so many ways. What is for sure is that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS is the #1 preventable birth defect! It is unknown just how many drinks and when during gestation those drinks affect the fetus. FAS is a lifetime of mental impairment. There is no cure. My adopted daughter has FAS. She will have a lifetime of difficulties socially, developmentally, and will never live independently. The cost for her care has been enormous to our family and the state as she requires one to one support 24/7. JUST 9 MONTHS without alcohol while she was growing in the womb is all it would have taken to have prevented her (and us) a lifetime of pain and the millions of dollars society has had to pay out for her care so far. It is not worth the risk for a few drinks.

    October 7, 2010 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Terri Stone

      Hi Joanne,
      After reading through most of the "pro-drinking while pregnant comments here (and shaking my head is dismay) you were the first one to point out the real life example of drinking alcohol when pregnant. Thank you! I am an adoptive mom of a 9 year old girl with FAE. Though her disability is not severe, it is permanent and will make her life harder, and it could have been prevented. I wish you all the best in providing the best life possible for your child.

      October 7, 2010 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
  26. Mrs. Allen

    It's about time. European women have been doing it for years.

    October 7, 2010 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Carol

    There is no scientific study that establishes that "X" amount of alcohol consumed by the mother is safe for the fetus. The potential risk is huge - and if you haven't been around a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (and various related syndromes, such as Alcohol Related Neurological Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Effects, etc.), you have no idea of the damage that can be caused by a pregnant woman's consumption of alcohol. For its potential effects on a fetus, alcohol is far worse that caffeine, tobacco, even heroin. If your doctor says its OK to drink while pregnant, confirm it in writing, and send a potential claim notice to his/her medical malpractice carrier. Raising a child with FAS costs millions more (costs to the family, the child, society, etc.)

    October 7, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • QueenZola

      Alcohol is worse than Heroin?! Really?! I have never read any study or article or heard any doctor spout that nonsense. I think you carried that one a bit too far.

      October 7, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Joanne

      QueenZola, no Carol didn't carry it too far at all. Alcohol IS more dangerous than Heroin but the alcohol companies, like the tobacco companies, don't want you to know that. It was just a few years ago after a long fight that alcohol was required to be labeled with warnings regarding the potential damage alcohol can do to the fetus. Take a stroll through the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome website, NOFAS.org to learn more about the devastating effects alcohol can have on the fetus.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • QueenZola

      I agree that alcohol can have horrible and long lasting ramifications for a child. I have seen the effects, which is why I have decided not to drink while I'm pregnant, but you cannot tell me that it is worse than the effects on a child born addicted to heroin. Heroin is one of the most addictive, harmful, devistating drugs out there. Do some research on what happens to a fetus, usually born early if born at all, having to go through heroin withdrawl and then deal with the brain damaging effects of that drug. No, I'm sorry, alcohol related syndromes are terrible, horrible things for a child and the parent (adoptive or natural) to have to deal with and live with, but don't EVER try to brush off the effects of heroin on an unborn child by lumping it in with caffeine. That is a flippant, offensive, and inflamatory comment.

      October 7, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • Joanne

      QueenZola, It's good to hear you made the choice to refrain from drinking alcohol during your pregnancy. I spent 20 years in the neonatal intensive care unit specializing in neonatal drug effects and management. I spoke at various medical meetings and youth programs to teach others of the effects drugs and alcohol. I then raised my adopted daughter who was significantly effected by alcohol, cocaine and heroin. The drug withdrawals an infant experiences postnatally can be severe, even deadly. Once the withdrawals are completed, the infant stabilizes fairly well. There can be brain damage but it is not as bad as compared to the damage alcohol can have on the growing brain. Unless the alcohol damage is severe enough to present with malformations or facial manifestations, the damage from the alcohol usually takes time to present itself. Unlike painful drug withdrawals, damage from alcohol lasts for a lifetime. As for caffeine, no, it does not compare to Heroin.

      October 7, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
  28. MCR

    What this study doesn't say is that the medical benefit of wine is in the antioxidants from the grapes. They don't mention beer. They don't mention liquor. They mention wine. There are hundreds of studies showing that the medical benefits of drinking grape juice are identical to the medical benefits of drinking wine. The alcohol in the wine is in fact harmful to anyone's body in any amount. The antioxidants from the grape component may be compensating for the harm caused by alcohol, but I would personally rather have pregnant women drinking grape juice. Remember how drunk you were the first time? And many of you were in high school or college at the time. How many drinks did it take? 3, maybe 4? Think about that baby who is anywhere from the size of the head of a needle, to roughly 8 pounds. Does it make sense to put 2 drinks worth of alcohol into the system of a human being that small? I think the answer to that is clear.

    October 7, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gateway

      Good question. Because when you drink two glasses of wine, they go straight into the baby's body!
      P.S. If you want to convince anybody, try a more logical argument.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Gateway, I was thinking the same thing as I read that post. Many on this comment string seem to be writing as if you drink alcohol, it goes straight to the placenta or breasts without any metabolic process in between. A 1/2 glass of wine or 1/2 beer split between husband and wife over the course of a nice leisurely dinner, will be metabolized by the ADH in the liver and oxidized through breath to almost 100% BEFORE it is passed to organs, or in this case breast milk or placenta. Binge drinking is a different story, and the extreme. Pregnant women who abstain from an innocent alcoholic beverage out of fear from criticism are most likely taking in far more destructive coloring, flavoring and preservative chemicals in greater quantities that ARE passed along, and really the villain in this caper, not alcohol in limited amounts.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
  29. RMF

    So let me get this straight...here we have a scientific study, where it was found that light drinking did not cause harm to those children (26% of the mom's in this study) and yet it ends with a statement that women should not drink at all...and many of you are stating women should not drink at all....BASED ON WHAT? Doctor's tell us not to drink simply because they do not know how much alcohol can triggers Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or development issues–so I reiterate, they do no know...Then here comes a study that shows that light drinking does not. But yet you say do not drink at all, based on ungrounded guesswork from before this study? Save me your self-righteous judgement, until you can show me one scientific study that has determined light drinking causes developmental harm to children.

    October 7, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Carol

    40 years of scientific studies have shown that there is no known quantity of alcohol that is safe. Do an internet search and you can find all the books and studies for yourself. My "self-righteous judgment," as you call it, comes from raising a child with FAS caused by his birth mother's drinking. Its not just "heavy drinkers" or alcholics that bear FAS children. Frankly, I don't much care if any woman wants to drink herself into an early grave - just don't risk causing monumental harm to your unborn child in the process.

    October 7, 2010 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. MCR

    Alcohol kills or damages (to some degree) every cell in the body it comes in contact with. That is proven science, not ungrounded guesswork. The alcoholics feverishly defending alcohol should probably not be posting here.

    October 7, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Um, wow. Kills every cell it touches huh. You may want to check your facts on that. "Interferes" with cell function may have been a better and more believable argument, and only, IF it isn't metabolized. But don’t let facts get in your way. I’m just one of the alcoholics that you cast your abolitionist blanket upon.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  32. gateway

    In other cultures is common for women to drink a half of glass of wine with their meal even if they are pregnant. The key is moderation. A person who has a hard time stopping after a a glass of wine, should not drink at all during the pregnancy.
    It's beyond me why for Americans everything needs to be either white or black.

    October 7, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MCR

      Which Americans are you talking about? The white ones? The black ones? The Middle Eastern ones? The Asian ones? The (insert any other country or race in the world here because we have representatives of all of them)? Or the smart ones? Or what about the dumb ones? Your statement regarding Americans was the epitome of a black and white statement.

      October 7, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
  33. cindye

    when i was pregnant 28 yrs ago, my dr. said that drinking occasionally would not harm the baby. i drank a little on special occasions. my daughter was a very well-behaved, responsible, intelligent, laid-back child. She's doing great as an adult, too. i did not eat much junk food or consume many soft drinks.

    October 7, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Capt. Obvious

    Did anyone else notice the study mentions that those who are light drinkers are from a higher socio-economic class?
    This means they have access to better healtcare, are more educated, are probably taking prenatal vitamins and checking in with their OB regularly. I'm also willing to bet they are in better physical condition, because being rich usually means you are more physically fit (have time and money to go to the gym, hire a personal trainer, etc).
    Of course children born to wealthy parents are going to be physically healthier, they had a head start! The two glasses of high-class red wine the mother drank aren't going to outweigh all the prenatal care, preparation and physical conditioning of the wealthy mom-to-be.

    October 7, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mom of One

    So much of the advice that you receive from your doctor is based on your doctor, your relationship with him/her and his/her evaluation of you. If you are a reasonable person and your doctor recognizes you as such, your doctor will be honest and tell you that 99% of the prohibitions placed on pregnant women are based on the fear of liability if something would go wrong with your pregnancy and are not based on scientific research. Most problems during pregnancy are something that you have absolutely no control over. If you cannot accept that you do not have control and/or would beat yourself up if something happens (and blame yourself or your doctor), follow the prohibitions. If you decide you want to follow the prohibitions, don't try to take the high ground and be a jerk to reasonable people that follow a different path. If you decide to have an occasional drink, don't try to take the high ground and be a jerk to people who take a different path. We are all just trying to get through a pregnancy for crying out loud!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. otto

    "Investigators found that youngsters of mothers who drank one or two 8 oz. glasses of alcohol a week during their pregnancies had no problems with their behavioral or intellectual development by the time they turned five."
    Does anyone read this stuff before it gets published? Two 8 oz glasses of alcohol would be 16 mixed drinks (assuming 1 oz shots per drink). Now I'm assuming the author meant one or two 8 oz glasses of wine or beer, but that's not what it says.

    October 7, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Joanne

    One report which has with MANY flaws in how it was performed against years and years of studies and damaged children?? If you don't care enough about your fetus to not drink while you are pregnant due to the potential damage, then you aren't ready to be a parent.

    October 7, 2010 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Joanne, nice straw man. So because someone wants to exercise their rights without having to feel pressured by hostile disapproval, they "don't care...about (their) fetus's"? Maybe you should get that legislation started requiring prospective parents to hit 12 levels of qualification to prove they will "care enough" for their offspring. Maybe we should also have an attachment to that bill that only certain faiths can reproduce, and have only certain traits. Yes, I hear the boots marching down my street now....gotta go.......

      October 7, 2010 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
  38. GLogan

    I love how pregnant women preach against even a drop of wine during pregnancy while their globbing down big macs and milk shakes by the dozen. I remember people scoffing at me when I couldn't "control" myself and had a glass of wine here and their during both of my pregnancies. Meanwhile their kids got toxic levels of hormones, fat and sugar from the unhealthy diets they sustained. Your best bet: everything in moderation, like Confucious say.

    October 7, 2010 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MCR

      Everything? Should we advocate shooting up heroin "in moderation" during pregnancy? I'm sure the kid will be just fine since it's "in moderation".

      October 7, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
  39. KatlovesOlivia

    first off, i am pregnant. i know from my mothers experience that drinking lightly throughout pregnancy does nothing to affect the fetus. i am one of three children and we are all extremely intelligent. im not saying drinking while mom was pregnant made us that way but i dont believe it harmed us either. she also smoked, for all you conservative yuppies out there. i have no athsma issues, nor do my siblings. you can shove all of your opinions at people who care. dont bash on mothers for the decision they make for THEIR OWN children. live your own lives, instead of trying to live everyone elses.

    October 7, 2010 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carol

      Just because some children do not wind up with FAS as a result of their mother's consumption of alcohol while pregant, does not mean that drinking alcohol is safe, wise, risk-free or beneficial. Some people survive Russian Roulette, does that mean its safe? I've engaged in risky behavior and not caused any one harm. That doesn't mean the risky behavior was safe. I don't think anyone has the right to risk causing someone else incurring irreversible brain damage, which is what FAS is. We have laws against people getting behind the while after drinking too much for a reason - the protection of innocent people on the road. How much more innocent can you get than being a fetus in your mother's womb?

      October 7, 2010 at 16:31 | Report abuse |
  40. AliceinWonderland

    I gave up alcohol totally during my first pregnancy and smoked marajuana instead and had the most docile, sweet and easily soothed baby. For my second I did the same, and also allowed myself to have a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend and had the same result. For my third child I opted to refrain from both and that child is a hyperactive, ADHD nightmare. Learned my lesson! Return to sender!

    October 7, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lavendar

      Interesting! There is newish research now discussing the effects prior pregnancies have on later pregnancies. Apparently, they can effect your hormone levels, so perhaps the 3rd child was somehow affected by the way the two prior pregnancies affected your body. That is just a theory, of course. Keep the ADHD kid away from T.V/video games, as these can make hyperactivity worse. Good luck!

      October 7, 2010 at 19:05 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      As a recreational marijuana smoker and an educated/intelligent human being, you dear, are a moron. Smoking marijuana and/or drinking did not cause the lovely personalities of your first two children, nor did abstaining cause your third child's supposed ADHD/hyperactivity. Prevelance of ADHD among births increases with the age of the mother and the number of the pregnancy (i.e. a mother who is 35 versus 25 has a higher chance of having a child with ADHD and a woman pregnant for a third time versus a first time has a higher chance of having a child with ADHD). Personality is somewhat genetically and somewhat environmentally based. Smoking marijuana (or absorbing THC through the amniotic fluid) does not change your personality, it merely effects your behavior and the way in which you express your personality. Why don't you take some child development, biology, psychology, and parenting classes before you suggest drinking and smoking during pregnancy is safe or beneficial.

      October 18, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
  41. Lavendar

    My opinion: don't drink nor smoke during pregnancy, because you just don't know if it will affect some critical part of cell division and development. Women who are addicted to alcohol need to know they must get help and stop drinking immediately, more important than anything else. If you have a child born with fetal alcohol syndrome/effects, he or she might really suffer for life, with learning disabilities, abnormal features, and who-knows-what effect on the brain.

    Many people do not know what 8 oz. of wine looks like. It is better to just avoid alcohol. For everyone who says, "My mom drank a glass of wine everyday while pregnant with me, and I am just fine" that is good, but you don't know how it will affect other people's babies.

    October 7, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JDM

      Good advice Lavendar. I'll drink the "recommended" 1-2 glasses per week and my child will be less of a behavior problem and also more mentally developed. Come High School or College, classes graded on a curve, this research suggests that my child could out perform yours by 30%. So, yes, I agree with you...please, do not drink at all. PPlease abstain, my child stands to benefit.

      October 7, 2010 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
  42. wearymom

    This report is FALSE!! See for yourself in this video what just one glass of wine a week does to a growing fetus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL2k5SMKrY4

    As a mother of a young adult who suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome, I can tell you the above study is flawed and will lead to more children being damaged for life. A child with FASD can appear normal in the first few years of life. It is often not until the child starts school that the problems begin to surface. We did not realize our daughter was affected until about 3rd grade. She is now 23 with the impulse control and common sense reasoning of an 8 year old. If you ever understood the heartbreak of raising one of these children, believe me...you would never take one drink while pregnant. Why take a chance? If you can't obstain for a short 9 nine months...then maybe motherhood is not your calling. Don't drink during pregnancy....NOT ONE SINGLE DROP!

    October 7, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kim

      How much were you drinking for your 23 year old to have the reasoning of an 8 yr old?! Wow. I'm sure an OCCASIONAL beer or wine did not cause that.

      October 26, 2010 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
    • wearymom

      Kim, Did you watch the video I posted showing what one glass of wine a week does to a growing fetus? You NEED to watch it get your head out of the sand! One glass of wine doesn't sound like very much, does it? For you, at your weight, it isn't that much. But for your tiny developing baby, that 8 oz glass contains A LOT of alcohol. Your body will break down and process the alcohol very quickly. But a tiny fetus is unable to do that so the alcohol remains in its body much much longer....doing damage.

      Although the risk is higher with heavy alcohol use, any amount of alcohol may adversely affect your developing baby. That is why fetal alcohol is often referred to as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. There is a spectrum of the effects of alcohol...some children are affected more, some less...mild to severe. How badly a child is affected will depend upon two things: how much the mother drank but also WHEN in the pregnancy the mother drank...what organs were developing in the fetus at the time she did the drinking. Even light drinking during the early stages of pregnancy when the brain and spinal column are being formed can have a devastating effect. You can prevent FASD by not drinking at all while you are pregnant. I believe most doctors do suggest just that.

      Bottom line: Why would you want to take the risk of harming your child...just for a few selfish moments of pleasure? If you can't give up a few glasses of wine for a few months of your life, then perhaps being a mom is not your calling. As moms, we are called upon to sacrifice for our children every day in various ways. That must start BEFORE they are born. Take it from a mom of an FASD child, going without alcohol for a mere nine months is a tiny price to pay for the blessing of a child who is healthy in body and mind. The damage alcohol does is irreversible, permanent, and devastating to the child, to the entire family. Take is from one who has lived it. I would not wish my daily heartache on anyone and will strive continually to get the message out to all prospective moms....no alcohol...not a single drop.

      Take the advise or snub your nose at i but I am telling you the truth.

      October 28, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
  43. wearymom

    Consider these facts before you take that weekly drink if you are pregnant:

    "FASD is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The term FASD is not intended for use as a clinical diagnosis. It refers to conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), fetal alcohol effects (FAE), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). Each year, as many as 40,000 babies are born with an FASD, costing the Nation about $4 billion."

    FASD is 100% preventable!!! (No drinking at all in pregnancy....NO FASD!)

    FASD is an irreversible, lifelong condition that affects every aspect of a child’s life and the lives of the child’s family – there is NO cure for FASD.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Surgeon General, there is no known safe amount or safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy. "

    Facts from from notasingledrop.org

    October 7, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Barbara

    As a Guardian parent to 2 children with FASD, I can tell you this is going to cause pregnant women to think they are safe drinking alcohol. They are playing Russian roulette! The surgeon General has stated "NO AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL IS SAFE TO DRINK WHEN PREGNANT!" Are you willing to risk permanent brain damage to your unborn child for a few alcoholic drinks? Please DO NOT drink if you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant!!!

    October 8, 2010 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. aliceInWonderland

    forget about wine, what about sex. my husband has a very large penis and i am scared he is going to give my child brain damage if we do it after i am six months along. am i just being paranoid?

    October 9, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Becky

    For me, I feel safer to just stay away from alcohol all together while pregnant. I read Jeff Herten, M.D.'s latest book titled, "The Sobering Truth" which gives a thorough explanation of the mechanism of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The book explains how the introduction of alcohol to fetal brain development creates a variety of disabilities. I am not even going to risk it.

    http://www.soberingtruth.com/index.php/author/

    October 13, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. wearymom

    Good for you, Becky! Thank you for referring us to Dr. Herton's book. I found a short video where he explains Fetal Alcohol Syndrome...here:

    http://www.soberingtruth.com/index.php/single/video_alcohol_and_fas

    October 15, 2010 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Are You Pregnant

    Even if it proven to be good for health I would never drink a drop when I am pregnant. I care a lot for my baby than the drinks.

    October 21, 2010 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. jenn

    most likely this fear of drinking at all is more fear about being judged by someone else for having a social, relaxing, nerve-calming glass of antioxidant-laden red wine at Thanksgiving. We're so scared as women to not do what we're told that we automatically believe if someone says something is bad that we're going to Hades for doing it. Don't go drink a gallon of vodka in one sitting, no. But 5 0z red wine every now and then? There are FAR worse things that can be done.

    October 28, 2010 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Alcohol Researcher

    to all who think that drinking alcohol while pregnant is not harmful please read: http://fasdsg.org/News_Publications.php?topic=5&category=1

    November 2, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
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