When I was out for dinner the other night, all my friends were ordering glasses of wine or beer. I had ice water. There aren't many restaurants that offer both decaf and diet beverages so I'm pretty much condemned to 9 months of water. It's not a bad thing, but putting water into a nauseous stomach isn't always the most desirable thing to do.
A friend of mine at dinner, told me about a new study that says light drinking while pregnant is ok. I was kind of shocked. Then yesterday, Mr. BBM found the article, "Light Drinking Said OK for Pregnant Women." What struck me about the article is that Fred Bookstein, a statistician who has spent much time studying fetal alcohol syndrome, now states that there is no evidence to suggest that very light drinking is harmful to the fetus. To the contrary, the study points to very light drinking as actually being beneficial for the mother and baby.
Having a husband who works in clinical research is a really nice perk sometimes. He instantly pulled up the actual research study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, which was no small study! Over 18,500 children were followed through much of their young lives. Not surprising, Moms who binge drank while pregnant had children with problems. However, the group right behind the binge drinkers when it came to issues with their children? The Moms who drank nothing at all!The article states that the study was so well done, that it is conclusive and should put to rest any and all doubts that light drinking is harmful.
If you've ever read The Red Tent, then you know that in biblical times, people drank wine. Water wasn't safe and it was really the only healthy option. That includes pregnant women.
The published article, linked above, had tons of comments saying they didn't buy it, the study was flawed, etc. etc. But why believe one expert from a study from 1991 and not another with a recent study, a large sampling and conclusive results? Some people went on to say "alcohol is a drug," and then rattled off all the awful things that can happen, despite the fact that the study specifically says there's no proof.
What's funny is that caffeine is a stimulant. I avoid caffeine while pregnant, except for the very rare occasion. When I do have it, I have the recommended daily dose and no more. If you read about the affects of caffeine on developing babies, scary words like "stillborn" and "low birth weight" and "fetal death" surface. Yet, you don't see pregnant women being condemned for ordering a coke product.
So what is it about this study that ruffles so many feathers? Do people not want to read the evidence? Have they been brainwashed by all the previous studies, now discounted, and they just can't get past it? As a pregnant woman, do you believe the new study, have a couple drinks and take the chance? What if something does happen to the baby? Could you live with yourself? What would YOU do with this information? (And before you answer, please read the article and get your hands on the study too.)