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Drinking for Two

Raphaël Büchler

Confession: I had an occasional glass of wine during my pregnancies, after I was through the first trimester. I didn’t drink nightly, or even weekly, and never did I get drunk. And while I know that complete abstention from alcohol is the official position of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, I also quietly received the okay for an occasional glass of wine from a number of medical professionals whose advice I sought.

According to an article in the NY Post today, a growing number of pregnant American women are indulging in one or two glasses of wine per week, without guilt. The article suggests that these women are leaning toward a more European attitude toward pregnancy after tiring of strict limitations on behavior while expecting, including avoiding alcohol, unpasteurized cheeses, raw fish, and hair dye. (A 2008 French study found that over 50 percent of French women drank alcohol at least once while pregnant, while only 12 percent of American women did.)

The article cites a study published last year in the International Journal of Epidemiology that found that “children whose moms had ‘one to two’ drinks per week during pregnancy were at no more risk of cognitive deficits than those who had zero alcohol.” It also quotes a source who asserts that anti-alcohol messages are wrongly targeting expectant moms without an alcohol dependency, and that babies with fetal alcohol syndrome were born to alcoholic mothers -- not ones who enjoyed an infrequent glass of wine.

Moms, did you indulge in any alcohol while pregnant? Why or why not?

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