The Truth About Drinking While Pregnant

While the potential for lifelong mental disability or irreversible birth defects is enough to keep most pregnant women away from the occasional light cocktail, others see potential health benefits.

A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology suggests that pregnant women who limited themselves to two or fewer alcoholic beverages per week faced no greater a risk of cognitive defects than woman who completely avoided alcohol during pregnancy.

Wine while pregnant

A similar study by the University College of London looked at more than 12,400 children of mothers who drank one or two drinks per week. It showed that boys were 30-40 percent less likely to develop behavioral problems and hyperactivity. A comparable percentage of girls in the study were less likely to develop emotional problems in adolescence.

Kate Hudson made a splash in the media last year when paparazzi snapped photos of the then-pregnant actress enjoying a glass of wine on vacation. At the time, Hudson was in the latter stages of pregnancy, when some doctors believe alcohol is less likely to impact a baby. In the first trimester, for example, a fetus’s organs are still developing and alcohol can potentially do more damage.

If there is a middle ground between total abstinence and the heavy drinking that clearly leads to birth defects, it appears to be a very small amount of alcohol per week. For the average woman, that could a glass or a half glass of wine per week.
Like anything with pregnancy, check with your doctor before making a decision.

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