Drinking during pregnancy is one of those issues on which people love to moralize for both sides — basically, depending on whether any one individual (non-doctor) chose to imbibe while knocked up, they will advise you to either abstain or have a good time.
Personally, drinking during pregnancy (despite a healthy bent toward hedonism and what many of us refer to as free-range parenting) was not something I managed to abandon fear enough to do, even despite a recommendation from my doctor and the occurrence of perhaps the biggest event in my life during my first pregnancy. Something about the particular effects of drinking during pregnancy on a child’s cognitive abilities was enough to keep me even from a single sip of sangria for the duration.
But drinking during pregnancy has always been somewhat tolerated and, as I observed, even recommended by some doctors to alleviate symptoms of anxiety preceding the arrival of a baby. Plus, many mothers rightly get peeved at the level of judgment heaped upon them by perfect strangers for having a glass of wine with dinner while obviously pregnant.
In recent years and with a growing emphasis on safety at all costs, drinking during pregnancy has been discouraged in any amount, due to the fact that it is basically impossible to arrive at a safe level of alcohol consumption for pregnant women.
But a new Danish study may flip the script once again, indicating that moderate drinking during pregnancy may in fact be perfectly safe.
While researchers say consumption of between one and eight units of alcohol per week while pregnant appeared to precipitate no ill-effect in kids, some experts believe pregnant women cannot be trusted to be in charge of that choice. Bruce Goldman, director of Substance Abuse Services at the Zucker Hillside Hospital, explains to Health Day:
“These findings can easily send a very dangerous message to pregnant women… Women may underestimate and have difficulty acknowledging the frequency or quantity of alcohol consumed. Those suffering from alcoholism may attempt to rationalize that it is safe to drink moderately, something they may ultimately be unable to do.”
The findings concerning drinking during pregnancy were published in the June 20th edition of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.