Published on January 19th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Study Suggests You May Want to Re-Consider Light Drinking During Pregnancy
The subject of vice and pregnancy is incredibly sensitive, and once people discover your condition is delicate, they often feel extraordinarily comfortable in offering their usually-uneducated opinion about your drinking, eating, smoking, sexing or other habits in which you may or may not engage.
If you have a c-section, you were too lazy to push. If you get caught eating dessert, you’re wantonly indulging cravings. And heaven forfend you consume an obstetrician-sanctioned glass of wine at a restaurant, you feel the judging gaze of a million (probably childfree) diners quietly noting your horribleness as a mother-to-be. Indeed, it’s generally considered okay to consume a single glass of wine on occasion when pregnant, but newer data out of the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) suggests that even light drinking might not be a risk you want to take when knocked up.
A study recently published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research calls into question the idea that even small amounts of alcohol can be safe during pregnancy, somewhat worryingly. (During my first pregnancy, I was advised to consume a glass of wine nightly due to anxiety, but could never bring myself to do so out of fear- the advice is somewhat common, going by what fellow mothers tell me, even today.) The study notes some worrying conclusions drawn from data collected about drinking and pregnancy during a 15-year-long period:
For every one additional drink the mothers consumed [above the recorded daily average] between their 43rd and 84th days of pregnancy [the second half of the first trimester], their babies had a 16% greater chance of being born smaller than average, which may put them at greater risk for mental and physical problems. Their infants were also more likely to have birth defects, such as a 25% higher risk of a smooth ridge linking the nose and upper lip, a 12% increased risk of an abnormally small head and a 22% greater chance of unusually thin upper lips.