You may have read that Denmark recently released a study saying low or moderate drinking during pregnancy is unlikely to have an impact on the child. They say as long as you limit yourself to 8 units of alcohol a week, there are no developmental impacts. The study bases this on a group of women whose children are now 5.
Do I think it is possible to consume alcohol during pregnancy and have a completely healthy child with no developmental delays/disabilities? Absolutely. As many point out, our parents, grandparents and further back generations all probably drank (and did many other things) during pregnancy without many having the impact.
And it is true, women in Europe seem to be more comfortable drinking while pregnant than women in America. Do their children have a higher incidence of disabilities? Fetal alcohol syndrome? I don’t know.
So it the study says it is safe, does that mean I am now drinking (albeit moderately) before baby comes?
So why not? Is it because I think the study is false? No. I think it is possible the study is absolutely true. It very well might be possible to drink in moderation and have a healthy kid.
But I don’t think we really know the limit. How much is truly safe. I do think it is unlikely that one drink is going to have an impact. But I can’t guarantee it.
So why risk it? I know the dangers in drinking. They are very real. I’ve known kids with fetal alcohol syndrome. And honestly, I don’t see the point.
Fetal alcohol syndrome and all related disabilities caused by it are 100% preventable if you don’t drink during pregnancy. One hundred percent. It is one of only a handful of disabilities that you can affirmatively do something and avoid completely.
And really-why wouldn’t you? It is 40 weeks of you life that can guarantee your child doesn’t have fetal alcohol syndrome for the rest of his/her life.
Doesn’t that seem worth it to you?
Now a little non-judgmental disclosure: not drinking during pregnancy is my choice. If someone asked me I would be honest and let them know I’m not drinking and why. That said, I wouldn’t think it my place to tell another pregnant woman what she should or shouldn’t do.