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As someone who has been on the pregnancy/nursing roller coaster several times, I can say with all certainty that I have never, eva, eva, eva, had my doctor tell me it was fine to drink during pregnancy or lactation. I’ve heard — and read — that beer helps to increase milk supply, but I’ve been lucky not to have that issue, so I personally don’t vouch for it.

For months, years even, pregnant women and nursing moms are told to steer clear of alcohol. It’s on the news, it’s even on the scary posters in the OB-GYN’s bathroom where they list all the dangers of fetal alcohol syndrome/poisoning — do not drink.

This is why this particular study threw me for a loop. ABC News reports:

 

Drinking low to moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy may not have any damaging developmental effects on children five years later, according to new research published Tuesday.

But, the authors stressed, pregnant women should still err on the side of caution and avoid alcohol altogether, since no safe level of alcohol consumption has been established.

In a series of five studies, Danish researchers statistically evaluated how different levels of drinking during pregnancy affected the five-year-old children of 1,628 women. They compared women who drank 0, 1 to 4, 5 to 8 and more than 9 drinks per week while they were pregnant and assessed their children’s IQ, attention span and their capacity for what are known as executive functions, which include organization and planning.

Children whose mothers reported having 1 to 4 or 5 to 8 drinks per week while pregnant did not perform any worse on tests measuring IQ and executive functions. Binge drinking, which meant having 5 or more drinks in one sitting, also did not have any significant negative effect on children five years later.

Drinking more than nine drinks per week, however, was linked to five-year-olds’ lower attention span.

In the study, the researchers defined a drink as having 12 grams of pure alcohol. In the U.S., a drink is considered to have 14 grams of pure alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So, in short, it’s been proven that it’s more than likely fine to drink during pregnancy, but don’t take their word for it because if something happens to your baby, that’s on you? I think I’ll just continue to err on the side of caution.

Weigh in, Clutchettes: Would you ever drink during pregnancy? If you already have, did you see any adverse effects in your baby’s development?

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  • gmarie

    I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone..and I wouldn’t do it for myself. BUT..hey look at our parents and grandparents..and even some of US. if you’re over a certain age it’s very likely that your mother had a drink, had a smoke, or was around smokey environments while she carried you. Most of us turned out okay lol. MOST of us.

  • Kacey

    The results of the study don’t surprise me. European women commonly drink during pregnancy and its not a big deal. And even in the U.S., prior to the Surgeon General warnings, pregnant women enjoyed an occasional cocktail without ill effects. The issue is excess and since its difficult to prescribe and define what is excessive (because of its subjectivity) the government took the extreme position of recommending no alcohol at all. Look, a GLASS of wine every now and again shouldn’t hurt – having the equivalent of a BOTTLE of wine every night probably will.

  • Jenn

    Yeah, we’ve told women to avoid drinking during pregnancy simply because we don’t know where the line of safe and unsafe is. Beer can be found in very low alcohol levels. There’s very little reason mom has to miserable during the game while everyone else celebrates the winning play.