One of the most widely accepted facts about a healthy pregnancy is also one of the most widely bemoaned: You’re not supposed to drink alcohol while you’re pregnant.
But how many soon-to-be mothers are actually following that advice? The answer is a little startling: over one-third of women surveyed in a recent study revealed that they don’t truly believe that drinking is a problem while they’re expecting. And it’s true, there is a lot of different information out there — some doctors say a little alcohol might be just fine. But there isn’t a lot of conclusive research about exactly how much is acceptable.
So it’s equally hard to say why the women in this study think drinking alcohol while pregnant is safe, and how much they consider appropriate. The women polled were not asked to explain why they thought it was OK, just whether it was or it wasn’t. So there’s a lot of gray area.
Since the study has come out, however, doctors have chimed in to reiterate their long-standing wisdom — and make one key concession that might explain these surprising results. Meanwhile, a thorough search of social media reveals that the women who do think drinking is fine while pregnant don’t seem to be tweeting about it.
The survey was hosted by Cameron Hughes Wine, and the sample size was not small.
While the poll didn’t ask the participants why they thought that drinking while pregnant was OK, we imagine some subscribe to the belief that a little alcohol can’t hurt. For example, one study found that low levels of alcohol might not have harmful effects on a fetus.
That said, public opinion still skews strongly against any drinking while pregnant.
As you might imagine, the report has received a lot of attention — mostly negative.
And, because it is the internet, people did not withhold judgment. Seriously, we were hard-pressed to find online sympathy for mothers who drink while expecting.
Dr. Christine Greves is quoted as saying, “A safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy has not been determined. That’s why we recommend complete abstinence.”
Which sounds like it might be giving moms with a craving some wiggle room.
But we’re pretty sure this is sarcasm.
People used whatever outlet they could to voice their disapproval. Some, like this woman, shared horror stories.
While others used humor to make their point.
And there are facts to contend with...
The same Dr. Greves stressed, “Alcohol impacts fetal growth at all stages of pregnancy,” pointing out that fetal alcohol syndrome is very real and affects a significant amount of newborn children.
The warnings couldn’t be more omnipresent. They’re in any restaurant that serves alcohol and on any bottle of beer, wine, or liquor for purchase.
To drink or not to drink may be the question, but for a lot of pregnant women like this one, to kick back on the couch is the answer.