To drink or not to drink? That is the question that many soon-to-be moms are faced with during pregnancy. Do you think drinking-no matter how little-puts your unborn baby at harm? Or is a glass of wine or a mixed drink okay once or twice a week?
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A recent study released in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reveals, "at age 5 years [children] born to mothers who drank up to 1 to 2 drinks per week or per occasion during pregnancy were not at increased risk of clinically relevant behavioral difficulties or cognitive deficits compared with children of mothers [who abstained from drinking throughout their entire pregnancy].
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These findings aren't swaying all doctors, some are concerned that the study could be sending the wrong message to mothers. Dr. Michael Katz, senior vice president for Research and Global Programs with March of Dimes says, "You can walk on a railroad track and not be hit by a train, but that doesn't mean it's a safe thing to do. I worry about this article because it could be over-interpreted, and over-interpreting data of this nature is probably dangerous."
"We don't know how much alcohol may be safe, but we do know that too much has detrimental affects, from preterm labor to brain damage," says ob/gyn Lisa Masterson, M.D. She says people often underestimate the amount they drink as well. "Doctors are taught to take the amount someone says they drink and double it!" she says. "Don't feel guilty about a little sip on New Year's, but don't make it a habit either."
How do you feel about drinking while pregnant?
- A glass or two of wine a week is harmless.
- All alcoholic beverages should be off-limits during pregnancy.
- I think it's safe, but I wouldn't do it myself.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.