Nearly every woman who already is or wants to become pregnant has a litany of questions and a series of valid concerns about their diet, exercise routine, and overall lifestyle, with the ultimate aim of having the healthiest baby possible. Often, one popular question is, especially a wine mom, “Is it safe to drink wine while pregnant?” With wine culture dominating modern society, it is understandable to want to separate fact from fiction when drinking wine while pregnant. If you or someone you love struggles with a wine addiction, especially if they are pregnant or trying to conceive, please contact Midwest Recovery online or call us at 833.627.0039 today for our alcohol addiction treatment program.
The Rise of the Wine Mom
Whether it is Rosé all day or tropes of mom needing a glass of wine because parenting kids is so difficult, wine culture has overtaken American society over the past decade. Being a wine mom or using hashtag #WineMom on social media is seen as a code for saying “being a mom is hard.” This has been especially true over the past year. From understanding common core math to literally managing school on Zoom at the kitchen table, moms must practice self-care. Still, wine addiction is real, and drinking wine while pregnant comes with many risks for both mom and baby.
What Can Happen if I Drink Wine While Pregnant?
For many years, women were told that they should not consume any alcohol during their pregnancy. However, other studies suggested that an occasional glass of wine is not harmful to the baby during pregnancy. The result is general confusion, at best, and at babies being put at risk, at worse.
Drinking a glass of wine at the end of a tough day or with a nice meal can be relaxing and enhance the dining experience. But is it safe to drink wine while pregnant? In short, the answer is no. Consuming wine while you are pregnant can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) in your baby.
What Are FASDs?
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are physical, intellectual, and behavioral disabilities that sadly a child may suffer from throughout their entire life. Additionally, during pregnancy, alcohol use by moms is one of the leading causes of intellectual disability in babies. Drinking wine while pregnant has also been shown to increase the chances of a miscarriage or stillbirth. The risk is great because the placental barrier does not block alcohol: it passes freely through the placenta and the umbilical cord to reach the baby.
While being a wine mom may seem fun on social media, the consequences while pregnant are severe. Some of the characteristics children with FASDs may have are:
- Memory issues
- Speech delays
- Heart or kidney problems
- Abnormal facial features
- Poor coordination
- Vision disabilities
- Hearing disabilities
- Low IQ
The Myths and Facts About Drinking Wine While Pregnant
Let’s look at some of the myths propagated by wine culture that may not only lead to a wine addiction but could, in extreme cases, be harmful to children.
Myth: It Is Safe To Drink Wine Before You Know You Are Pregnant
You obviously are not making a poor decision on purpose in this situation, but the wine isn’t forgiving; it doesn’t know that you do not know a baby is growing inside you. The facts are that drinking at any time in pregnancy, even early on before you know you are with a child, might negatively affect the baby. The actual impact will depend on several factors, including:
- How much wine you were drinking
- How often you drink
- If you continue to knowingly drink during pregnancy
Once a woman learns that she is pregnant, it is recommended to stop drinking wine and using alcohol of any kind. This is true no matter how far along she is in her pregnancy. The baby will benefit by not being exposed to alcohol.
Myth: Some Types of Alcohol Are Safe To Drink During A Pregnancy
This is flat-out incorrect and dangerous. A standard serving is considered 12 ounces of beer, 4-5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. And there is the same amount of alcohol in a standard serving of each. Because there is no amount of alcohol that has been proven to be safe in pregnancy, it is recommended that women do not drink any alcoholic beverages at any time during their pregnancy.
Myth: Late In My Pregnancy, I Can Drink Wine and Alcohol
The truth is that there are differing opinions on this topic. Babies are growing and developing throughout the entire pregnancy, right up until it is time for them to arrive into the world. Experts admit that not enough is known about how wine and alcohol will affect the baby at various stages of the pregnancy. Still, most agree it is safer for the baby not to be put at risk at all to fetal alcohol syndrome. No amount of alcohol has been proven to be safe in pregnancy. Therefore it is recommended that even wine moms avoid pouring themselves a glass of pinot or any other kind of alcoholic beverage until the baby is born (although if breastfeeding, you may still want to be a teetotaler).
Myth: Drinking Alcohol Increases Milk Production
It was once believed that beer raised levels of prolactin, the hormone in the body that plays a role in making breast milk. However, experts now state that alcohol, including wine, lowers the release of another hormone called oxytocin, and lower oxytocin levels can affect the amount of milk released from the breast. This means that drinking wine while pregnant and breastfeeding could mean that your baby is getting less milk.
Myth: One Glass of Wine Won’t Expose The Fetus to Alcohol in the Womb
Finally, it is very crucial that you understand and remember that there is no amount of alcohol that can be considered safe during pregnancy. Any and all wine you consume while carrying a child inside you will be passed onto your baby and may develop FASDs. If you are a wine mom, it may be hard to give up the glass, but learning to firmly say no to having even a small amount of wine can make all the difference to the immediate and long-term health of your child.
Learn More at Midwest Recovery
If a woman you love requires wine addiction rehab in Ohio, learn how Midwest Recovery can help before, during, and after pregnancy. Contact us using our secure online form or call us at 833.627.0039 today.