Drinking While Pregnant: Would You Risk It?

Some recent research is indicating that is may not be so terrible if a pregnant woman consumes alcohol while pregnant. What do you think?


Drinking alcohol while pregnant has been pretty much taboo in recent decades. Yet, a series of 2012 studies conducted in Denmark may be indicating that a little sip of wine - or perhaps even a whole glass - during pregnancy could be OK. Howevery, the results of the studies are far from definitive and surely don't help mothers-to-be draw the line between what's safe and what's not.

When I was pregnant, I didn't want to take any risks and I made sure not to even have a sip of wine. I have friends who drank a glass here or there while pregnant and their children appear to be just as happy and healthy as my own.

What are your thoughts about drinking alcohol during pregnancy? Share your thoughs in the comments area below.

Sharon Moran January 13, 2013 at 03:45 PM
With all the issues of FAS why risk it? It's not that important to be drinking all the time, have a little self control.....
Cha January 13, 2013 at 06:03 PM
If you can't practice some restraint for 9 months for the well being of your unborn child, then motherhood is just not for you. You are unfit and selfish.
Bebimbop January 13, 2013 at 08:35 PM
one lousy drink a week isn't gonna hurt anything. FAS is meant for alkies. OMG hysteria is right
William Keyser January 14, 2013 at 03:08 AM
I and my siblings along with many others of the same era were born from mothers who smoke and drank with no apparent harm. Although we know now much more about the possible dangers, we are able to make more responsible choices today.
1 January 15, 2013 at 08:07 PM
If there is a 1% chance that a drink of alcohol or smoking will harm your unborn child, it is NOT worth the risk! Period. Jeremy Frank sounds like a quack. Where did you get your PhD? Mail order or online?
Gerald January 17, 2013 at 05:59 PM
We adopted twins from Kazakhstan, our son has FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder), our daughters much more minor problems. The ACOG and AMA is crystal clear --- no amount is known to be safe, this is 100% preventable and any amount can cause permanant brain damage. We live that reality as a family every day. Our son is awesome, but we live with the dangerous consequences of alcohol in the woumb. It caused mental retardation, hyperactivity, social and bonding issues and the list goes on and on. It is not worth the risk and about the most stupid decision you can make to put alcohol in the woumb. http://www.obgmanagement.com/article_pages.asp?AID=11025&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=ETOC&utm_content=Alcohol%2BTracy&utm_campaign=0113ETOC
Gerald January 17, 2013 at 06:03 PM
None is known to be safe, none. Yes you might dodge a bullet but any amount can cause FASD at any time in the development. You are giving insane advise here for your "moderation".... I posted below missing your advise here, we are living with the issue, many parents that adopted from eastern Europe are as well, you are 100% wrong... http://www.obgmanagement.com/article_pages.asp?AID=11025&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=ETOC&utm_content=Alcohol%2BTracy&utm_campaign=0113ETOC
Gerald January 17, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Shame you are unaware of what you do not know...
kevin January 17, 2013 at 06:54 PM
"There is evidence that lots of hard drugs will cause a fetus damage but cocaine use during pregnancy rarely causes damage to a fetus in the long term" Hard drugs will damage the fetus but won't damage the fetus long term? Hello contradictory statement. This guy isnt even a doctor. A real doctor would know damage done during fetal development IS long term damage. Ignore Jeremy Frank at will.
1 January 17, 2013 at 07:04 PM
kevin - I agree 100% with you. This Jeremy Frank is a quack giving out dangerous advise under the guise of being an expert. Notice how this scum bag shamelessly pimps his website after every post too. Between the real estate agents posting daily "ads" posing as blogs, tobbaco shop owners claiming that "smokeless tabbaco (ie, chew) is safe and doesn't cause mouth cancer, and now this scum bag saying it's OK for women to do coke, drink, and smoke while pregnant, the patch is turning into a prop for frauds and scammers.
kevin January 17, 2013 at 07:39 PM
@1- sad but true. We now have to argue over facts that used to be common sense and beyond dispute. But now ignorant people come armed with a few websites and think they can upend decades of research and empirical evidence. It feels like the intellectual line is moving backwards.
Jeremy Frank PhD CAC www.jeremyfrankphd.com January 18, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Hi all, I apologize for not being able to make myself clear in this forum. Perhaps I have been irresponsible in trying to explain research findings in this way. I withdrew my comments because I fear that they are being misunderstood and taken out of context. I'm afraid that trying to explain recent academic research into the very complicated nature of mothers who use alcohol or drugs while pregnant and the impact that has on developing babies is just not possible in this forum. I believe very strongly that mothers should not drink any alcohol at all while they are pregnant and that mothers and fathers should use no drugs at all while pregnant unless prescribed by a physician
Jeremy Frank PhD CAC www.jeremyfrankphd.com January 18, 2013 at 05:56 AM
To reiterate the point I was trying to make one last time...Please don't assume that because a mother drinks while she is pregnant that her child is doomed to a life of failure. Of course no drinking is safe but very small amounts of drinking may not cause severe harm. Absolutely don't drink while pregnant but if you know someone who did drink while pregnant have compassion for them as they may have the disease of alcoholism. Encourage them to get help but do not shame them because that may cause their drinking to get worse and go further underground.
Gerald January 18, 2013 at 02:10 PM
You are a real disgrace. When you share, insanely: "The key word would be moderation and I'd suggest that would mean half of a drink no more than twice a week or one drink per week" and then "very small amounts of drinking may not cause severe harm" you are taking a position 100% at odds with ACOG and the AMA. NONE, NONE whatsoever is known to be safe. There is no right amount, safe amount, reasonable amount. It affects different children differently. We have twins, both in the womb and our son was born in Kazakhstan seven minutes before his sister. There is little we know of the birth mother but the twins were in a tough place. Our son has FASD and his sister is affected far less. He is autistic, developmentally delayed, mentally retarded and has behavioral issues. His sister only has minor learning issues and some cognitive issues and is otherwise fine. They were both in the same womb at the same time exposed to the same alcohol. Our son is life long disabled, our daughter will make it. None is safe, none. You might come out unharmed like my daughter, you might come out severely harmed like my son -- there is no way to know, predict, gauge. You are not botching the sharing of research when you preach "moderation" -- you are advising a catastrophe. You are plainly in the wrong job, have given horrendous advise here, are a disgrace to your profession and as someone who lives with this issue every day my contempt for you here is nearly boundless.
Catherine January 18, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Our OB/GYN authorized one glass of wine one time during pregnancy: after amniocentesis as a way to relax and rest.
Gerald January 18, 2013 at 02:46 PM
PLEASE -- do the world a favor, report her to ACOG so they can nicely and professionally intervene, get her the right information, share the official position of her profession, she needs help before she ruins lives... My mother was told the same thing back in the 1960's... FASD was not even defined back then, what a tragedy someone would advise that with all we know today... Want to really relax, skip the wine and know you are not exposing your child to life long disabilities...
Jeremy Frank PhD CAC www.jeremyfrankphd.com January 18, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Gerald your points are well taken and I don't want anyone to misconstrue my comments. I would retract them at this point if I could because I can see I have offended people by trying to present some research results. I don't recommend that anyone drinks any alcohol while they are pregnant. If fact, I strongly recommend that people drink no alcohol while they are pregnant. I was merely making the point that if someone did drink alcohol during pregnancy it might be prudent not to label the child and mother in such disparaging ways which has been devastating to those kids who were labeled, "crack babies." I am horrified that anyone would misconstrue my comments and infer that I was implying that it was OK to drink during pregnancy. But I work with people who can't stop drinking or using drugs every day and they deserve some compassion too. They also have children some of whom have problems and many of whom don't.
MerionManor January 18, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Unless Gerald is s Ph.D, I'll be yielding to the OB/GYN.
Gerald January 18, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Then yield to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Merion -- they are crystal clear on this point and any one advising drinking wine does so in direct contradiction to all - ALL - ACOG findings and policies. They publish these in an international effort to educate people on this and there are those that desperately need it apparently. From their publication: "Risky drinking of alcohol can harm your body and put your safety at risk. If you are pregnant or think you may become pregnant soon, you should not drink alcohol at all. Doing so could harm your unborn baby by causing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders." http://mail.ny.acog.org/website/ThinkDontDrink.pdf
kevin January 18, 2013 at 04:41 PM
PhD not MD, very important to remember that when reading his comments. He sounds more like a social worker than medical doctor.
1 January 18, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Earnest - What possible "private and personal experiences and needs" require pregnant women to drink alcohol? While I agree a "sip" of wine most likely wouldn't hurt, why even bother to do that and take a chance? Arguing with you dopes is a waste of time as you aren't interested in facts, logic, or reason. Just excuses to drink and smoke while pregnant.
Kimberly January 21, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Dr. Frank's statements are crystal clear to me. People are misinterpreting and jumping to hasty, thoughtless conclusions about his comments. If you would bother to carefully read and think his comments through, closer, and quit taking things out of context, then maybe you wouldn't be so disturbed. His comments aren't disturbing or absurd; it's the blatant inaccuracy of your (mis)interpretation that is. You're drawing implications that aren't there. He is actually advising AGAINST mothers of unborn children consuming *any* amount of alcohol but just stating that not every baby born to a mother who consumed small amounts of alcohol/alcohol in moderation during pregnancy with that child will definitely have problems as a result and so people should not assume that. That is not to say that she should go out and give it a try just because it may not cause damage. To say something may not cause severe damage is not necessarily to recommend it. Severe alcohol abuse all throughout every stage of pregnancy is likely to cause severe damage, probably more than just one single sip would but that doesn't mean someone should even take that sip or that one sip is necessarily always or ever safe for a child in the earliest stages of human development (or any child) just because it may be "safer" than something else.
Kimberly January 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM
I completely agree no alcohol at all should be consumed while pregnant, as everything the girl consumes pervades her child's system as well; it's not worth the risk and no child should have alcohol anyway, not even a quick sip; that law, in my opinion, should not be expunged in this case merely because the child is pre-born. But when a woman is addicted to alcohol or other drugs before pregnancy and then she happens to become pregnant she may not always be able to abruptly stop the consumption of the drugs, upon discovering that she is pregnant even if she wants to so desperately for the sake of her child. A severely addicted person cannot usually just magically snap out of addiction and bring drug use to a sudden halt no matter how strong the desire is to stop; that's not selfish, it's because of the bondage addiction has over people and addicted parents can still love and care for their children and should not be regarded with hostility and contempt over a decision or mistake that eventually contributed to or led to addiction and seeking help is not always easy and recovery does not always happen quickly or easily; it's a lot of hard work even though it is worth it.
Kimberly January 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Gee whiz, you people have the tendency to be so uncivilized. Unnecessary speculation, derogatory remarks, false claims, unwarranted criticism, aspersive comments... Making extremely negative and judgmental comments when you have no true evidence to back up your ludicrous accusations. You just want to resort to insults. Why handle things in that manner? Your vitriolic comments, very likely, will not win anyone over to your way of thinking. You may want to reconsider your attitude. Or not. Your choice.
Gerald January 22, 2013 at 04:41 PM
The advise has been anything other than clear. He stated that a "moderation" should be used and then described how much might be ingested as being probably safe. Called on it -- he said none should be used and he botched established research. There is no safe amount known -- no safe quantity -- at any time during pregnancy. To suggest otherwise is to be at 100% odd with all findings and policies of ACOG on this matter. It is the height of irresponsibility to advise as he did, trying to smooth it over when he all but fully recanted compounds his error as you join in that muddled chorus. Nothing was taken out of context, he was taken at his word and those words are dangerous -- especially when adding an irrelevant PHD to the discussion. I live with this issue every day, I understand the terrible harm that can be done.
Gerald January 22, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Good grief, physician heal thyself...


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