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Category: Trimesters - Second Trimester
Posted by Shannybum » Aug. 9, 2011 8:44pm

Something that I've never seen discussed at all on any of the forums is alcohol and pregnancy. I'm curious as to what you ladies feel about drinking during pregnancy (seeing as how we're spread all over the world). What is customary in your area? How do you feel about drinking (zero tolerance, a sip here and there, a drink here or there, is how far along you are a factor) etc. I have seen these debates in other forums get REALLY nasty and that's not the intent. I am just curious, is all.

I'll go first by saying that I was a pretty heavy wine drinker before pregnancy and will admit that it's been hard for me to not drink. I do have a sip of my husband's beer every so often, and I have had a small glass of champagne on a couple occassions (to celebrate our anniversary, for example). Even though it's been tough, i'm actualy surprised that it wasn't harder than it has been .... especially now that I'm nearing the third trimester. I do attribute how great I'm feeling during my pregnancy to giving up drinking - I was formerly drinking at least 1 glass of wine per day. I think it's why I lost weight the first few months - less sugar intake. Which I've now replaced by candy, hehe.

Thanks for your input!

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Replies (18)

Reply by MrsBrower » Aug. 9, 2011 10:04pm

You sure you want to start this? lol.

I'm pretty much zero tolerance. My hubby wont give me a deep kiss if he's been drinking (a little extreme, but he means to keep us safe).

I don't think there is a reason to drink while pregnant. Why bother? My friend had a WICKED wine craving her last trimester at one point. She finally gave in and had all of two sips which sent her reeling.

My thought is really, why would you risk it? There is no benefit to drinking alcohol other than self gratification (yeah, there are antioxidants in red wine, but you can get those elsewhere too). If you really love wine, try some pomegranate juice in a nice red wine glass. Honestly, I think it's a little selfish to indulge in something that could be so harmful to your baby.

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Reply by popstarh8er » Aug. 9, 2011 10:36pm

I read in What to Expect When You're Expecting that as with everything, you have to weigh the pros and cons. It even gave the example (I'm going by memory here so you will have to excuse me if this is slightly incorrect) of indulging in a small glass of champagne for an anniversary, if the benefits of doing that outweigh the slight risk in going for it that ONE time .. then do it. What to Expects words ... not mine.

So, I have kept that principle in mind regarding a lot of things concerning what women "should" avoid when pregnant: caffeine, cold lunchmeat, etc. I think:
1. Is it worth it to me?
2. Would our grandmothers have abstained from it?
3. Would a woman in another country know to abstain from it?
Those things in and of themselves will not automatically trigger a "GO FOR IT!" attitude on my part, but I try to be reasonable in everything.

As of yet I haven't had any alcoholic drinks ... I surely have craved it, but haven't indulged. However, last night, in the depths of despair over a particularly bad head cold, I reevaluated these criteria while thumbing over my NyQuil. 10% alcohol ... 2 Tablespoons, I'd prefer not take risks over my unborn daughters health, but do the benefits of a good nights sleep and possibly not suffering from severe sore throat outweigh that? Last night ... I chose NyQuil. Would I always, probably not.

I say being balanced with everything is the key for me.

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Reply by Shannybum » Aug. 9, 2011 10:46pm

My intent wasn't to "start" anything Mrs. Brower, like I said, I'm just curious as to other people's viewpoints, I don't think anyone is to say what's right or wrong for anyone else :)

Kat, your/what to expect comments are interesting. There are many things we abstain from that our mothers and grandmothers did not. Like you, I do try to be balanced with everything. I have not had one ibuprofen or neo citron even when I have been in a lot of back/head pain and/or suffering from a headcold. I have, however, eaten a sandwich that had ham in it!

I just appreciate everyone's experience and viewpoints, that's all.

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Reply by MontyMoe » Aug. 9, 2011 11:51pm

I have not had any alcohol so far. I have def craved it though. I keep thinking that if I had one drink, I would want another, and another, and another...haha. I thought it would be more difficult than it has been.
In my family and group of friends, if I had a drink, It wouldnt be a big deal. I drank a few times before I knew I was pregnant and it wouldnt be a big deal to them if I had drink now. I think I would be a bigger deal to me than to them.

My bigger problem has def been the smoking. I was about a half a pack smoker a day before I found out. I am currently 18 weeks along and I have had prob about 5 cigarettes total since April 29th when I found out.

Some prople on here are going to think I am a horrible person for this, but truthfully, unless you are a smoker, you wouldnt understand. Anyway, my family and friends are very undertstanding about this as well. I talked to my doctor about this early on and she told me to stop as much as I possibly could. I have and I feel extremely proud of that!

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Reply by TangleBirdie » Aug. 10, 2011 12:02am

Im actually glad this got brought up , because Ive been thinking will i wont i ..

I havnt had a drink since the day before i found out i was pregnant. It hasnt been an issue untill this past week when my all day sickness has really dropped back and im starting to miss my nightly wine/s i use to have prior to baby comming..

I am planning on staying alcohol free till christmas day when i plan to have 1 glass of wine as ill be 7months and feel it will be less risk so far along. Let me tell you , i am dreaming about christmas day comming !!

Id be careful about where i was drinking, as i wouldnt want people to judge me for having a glass when out in public etc.

That said, if people choose to have a wine or beer here and there i really dont think its a big issue, my reason for not is that if something was to happen I would always have the doubt in my head that maybe it was the alcohol and id feel forever guilty.

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Reply by dmpage » Aug. 10, 2011 1:26am

Good topic!! Yay Shanny! IMO...haven't had any alcohol since we had our BFP. Was a pretty "healthy" social drinker before! In both of my previous pregnancies I think I had a teensie sip on one occasion but only when baby was already "full term". I felt guilty about it afterwards too. I agree about the being reasonable. Have you stopped your sugar free gum (which has artificial sweeteners), your lunch meats, your 'dangerous' cheeses, you tuna and other large fish, will you eat fish from the Gulf (oil pollution) or when on the West Coast have you eliminated all fish due to radiation from Japan (google Berkeley rooftop radiation)? You see my point. One can do more harm with emotional ill health trying to not pump their own gas and not use any cleaning products than if they just chilled out a bit. That said, I'm a pretty paranoid Mommy. My kids barely even watch commercial television..... Moderation is key and judge not lest ye be judged.

They tell me we're having a girl...a sister to her two older brothers? I still don't believe it!!

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Reply by popstarh8er » Aug. 10, 2011 1:57am

Yes, that was basically exactly my point.

I was going to add to the end of my post something along the lines of: Are you really going to be able to protect your baby once it is BORN from every fallen pacifier, every bit of secondhand smoke in public, every handful of dirt your toddler grabs?

I know I have gagged seeing some of the things that "accidentally" go into a baby and toddlers mouth, but most mothers at that point admit that it's basically impossible to protect them from everything. Would we like to try, of course! but there is so much that we can't protect our little ones against that undue worrying (especially while pregnant) will not do any good over.

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Reply by Neekie » Aug. 10, 2011 5:22am

Great Topic i agree.

I am Anti Alcohol when pregnant, AND i can't bare to see other pregnant women do it i am even anti energy drinks BUT having said that i did have a few drinks very occasionally with my first son 6 years ago but here in Australia i hadn't seen much info on it and was young and a little dumb about it.
When i was pregnant with my son i had dabbled in HEAVY HEAVY drinking and some drugs with out knowing my i was even pregnant, and when i spoke to my Dr about my concerns when i finally found out he said it was fine and that because i was stopping and it wasn't continuous days of it that he would be fine, and he was, With my last 3 miscarriages however i stayed away from ANYTHING that could harm my baby and lost all 3!

I do however understand the craving, i have had more than one craving just to have a glass with lunch on a sunday in the sun. How lovely does it sound.

My mum for example Drank, Smoked Cigarettes and Pot, also did a lot of drugs while pregnant with me and i was born completely ok. And function just like a normal human. Not that i think that its ok in anyway. But a lot of the time One will not kill you or the baby, babies are strong and will endure ALOT.

I think that its a really sensitive subject and that people shouldn't get worked up about it. I don't think it makes you a bad mother or anything :)

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Reply by Xdancer » Aug. 10, 2011 8:07am

Excellent topic!

I'm not a big drinker anyway, so staying away from alcohol during my pregnancy hasn't been an issue. However, I wouldn't judge someone who had the odd glass of wine - as long as it was an odd one, and not a regular occurence.

Monty - I too smoked until I found out I was pregnant. I was lucky enough to develop an aversion to cigarettes very early on, so haven't had a problem not smoking but I can see how hard it must be for you. Good luck.

If we were to follow all the rules of what you should/shouldn't eat/do during pregnancy we would drive ourselves demented. There are lots of things I have given up for this pregnancy, so I don't feel so guilty when I indulge in my 1 glass of diet coke (caffeine free) a day.

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Reply by Shannybum » Aug. 10, 2011 3:53pm

Monty Moe and XDancer - thanks for sharing about cigarettes. I have never smoked in my life, so obviously isn't hard for me to abstain, but I do feel for ladies with that addiction who become pregnant and give them major credit for stopping or even heavily cutting back, 'cause from what I understand that addiction is as bad as to cocaine!

I am not trying to justify my two or three drinks in my whole pregnancy by seeing who else has had done the same, I am more interested to see if the viewpoint varies by area of the world, maternal age, previous miscarriages, etc.

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Reply by dmpage » Aug. 10, 2011 3:58pm

I'm American, my husband is English and seems to be less concerned about whether or not I have a sip. I'm "advanced maternal age" and I've had 3 miscarriages with two healthy sons....now you can cross-reference my previous comments.

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Reply by Blossome » Aug. 10, 2011 10:57pm

I'll put my two cents in, here, for the sake of giving you a nice broad view. :)

I'm not a heavy drinker, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a lightweight when I do drink. That means 2 shots of vodka and I'm giggling on the floor for an hour and a half. So when I got pregnant, I decided to go straight to my doctor for information about any amounts of alcohol, especially considering how it affects me.

Now, beer doesn't really do anything for me (could be because I rarely drink more than one in a sitting, and don't like it that well), but hard liquor can hit me pretty hard. I explained that to my OB, as well as my conjecture of what I'd heard about a glass of red wine a week being healthy for a pregnancy.

My doctor took my question quite seriously. He looked into the matter, and had an answer for me the following appointment. These guidelines, bear in mind, are for me specifically, so I have no clue how good they'd be for anybody else.

In my first trimester, when the most brain development was occurring, I was to limit my alcohol intake to less than a glass of wine a month, or roughly one shot of hard liquor. if possible, it would be awesome if I could not drink at all during that period.

In my second, I can have (up to) a glass of red wine a week, or one shot of hard liquor. That's if I really feel like it. In my third trimester, I drop the intake again (to reduce the risk of premature labor, I'm carrying twins) to a glass or shot every other week.

Bear in mind, this is all an estimate that my doctor gave me based on his research into the matter, and is customized for me and this particular pregnancy. I've felt the desire for alcohol maybe twice, and I'm 6 months along. Both times I had either a daquiri (with 1/2 shot of rum) or half a light beer. I don't see anything wrong with this mild intake, and though plenty of other doctors and women will disagree, I don't think it hurts to indulge yourself a bit, when it's a reasonable indulgence, especially if it makes you feel better during a hard time. :)

I hope this opinion adds some more info to your gathering. Good luck with your pregnancy!


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Reply by KatieK » Aug. 11, 2011 11:23am

This is quite an interesting thread, so I thought I would throw my 2 cents in as well.

During my first pregnancy...literally...my only craving the entire pregnancy was beer. On occassion, because neither my hubby nor I are big drinkers before or after DD, I would take a sip of his beer when he had one. Literally like a sip once a month.

I am from Maryland, born and raised...I am not sure if anyone else is...but let me justify. We are known for our steamed crabs!...and I love steamed crabs!!!!!!!!! Steamed crabs are just not the same without an ice cold beer (which obviously I could not have)...so I ordered an O'douls (non- alcoholic beer here in the US) My DH had a hissy fit...it has less than like 2% alcohol in it..probaby the same amount you would inhale when you use hairspray. Anyway...he got over it.

I do keep a few O'douls in our fridge for crab eating occassions only.

Other than that just the occassional sip of a another's drink here or there.

I have friends that have also had their docs say that 1 glass of red wine is actually beneficial during pregnancy. I know many people do not agree with this, and it does not fit my situation because I do not like red wine but the justification makes complete sense, and if I liked red wine, I would proabably have a glass a week. The alcohol helps to moderately thin your blood which prevents blood clots which are very common in pregnancy, especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

Food and Caffeine-
Now- on to the food and caffeine subject. I still drink 10-15 oz of caffeine a day. Read a study that said caffeine is harmful to the baby when over 6 cups of 10 0zs or MORE are consumed a day...that means 60 ozs....that's a lot of caffeine even for someone that works night shift! Also the lunchmeat, and soft serve icecream- I eat it without worry, as long as the lunchmeat isn't out of date or slimey. No problems with either pregnancy so far. Tuna salad on occassion too.

The Ibuprofen debate...last pregnancy I was told it was a No-No, and unfortuantely for me Ibuprofen is the only thing that works, so I was pretty disappointed.

This pregnancy I was told, they had done more research and Ibuprofen is just as safe in pregnancy as Tylenol...up until 20 weeks. After 20 weeks of pregnancy it may cause an increased risk of bleeding. So YES I have taken Ibuprofen in moderation,, of course, during this pregnancy. I have also taken benedryl on occassion to sleep which I was told was harmless in pregnancy.

I smoked for 10 years before DH and I decided to get preggo with DD, and I finally quit, for real quit, 2 weeks prior to when I found out I was pregnant. It was hard, one of the hardest things I ever done. SO I feel for ya, but I have to go with the absolutely NO SMOKING rule here. Will a smoke hurt the baby here and there, probably not, but do you really want to go back to smoking after the baby is born?...Before DD, I didn't think much of a parent smoking around their own children, but now that I have one of my own, it disgusts me to the core everytime I see it. I know such a hypocrite, but a child just changes your views on so so many things. It's amazing. One caviat-When not pregnant, I will smoke on occassion when I drink, which like I said before is like 2 a year...we are not big drinkers.

Food, Caffeine, and Meds of any kind are perfectly fine in moderation.
Alcohol- I tend to err on the side of an occassional sip here and there is just fine...If I saw a pregnant women out having a glass of wine with dinner, I would not judge her at all. If I saw her drink 2 or 3 I would think she was a horrible mom.
Smoking- Quit for Good, it really is the best thing for you and your baby, now and forever from now. Good Luck, I know how hard it is.

So instead of my 2 cents, I guess I threw in a few hiundred bucks, lol.

Good Luck to all those that are struggling with addictions or cravings out there! Stick to what you think is best for you and your baby.

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Reply by KAD063770 » Aug. 11, 2011 4:08pm

I am six weeks along and my OB says there is nothing wrong with 1 glass of wine once in a while. I didnt have a glass of pino till I was out of my first trimester. I feel good baby is healthy and if I have a glass of wine a month there is nothing wrong with it. I usually enjoy one when we go to a nice place to eat, and half the time I dont even drink the whole thing more like hALF A GLASS!!! Like my OB says too much of anything is not good for the baby but once and a while is fine !!!!

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Reply by Shannybum » Aug. 11, 2011 5:39pm

Blossome, KatieK and KAD:

Thanks for the other side of the coin and having the guts to be frank and open (not easy!)

While I may choose to have an occassional glass as my pregnancy progresses, I will not do it in public because even though it's my "right" to choose for myself - I really do not want to offend, or otherwise upset anyone else - or start a fight in public, so I will just enjoy it at home with hubby or with close family members.

KatieK - I have tried the non-alchoholic beer but just don't enjoy the taste! I have tried non-alcoholic wine but it just tastes like grape juice, it's too sweet (has 35 grams of sugar per serving - as bad as pop!) AND to boot it costs $8, almost as much as a bottle of 'real' wine!

Re: Caffiene - It's my understanding that you are not to exceed 200 mg of caffiene a day and the average coffee has 100-150 mgs, so I do enjoy my morning coffee. If I have more later I have decaf.

Very interesting about the ibuprofen. I heard that it was a total no no throughout pregnancy so I have been avoiding it even though I had wicked headaches and backaches that tylenol wouldn't touch...although if it's not safe past 20 weeks I can't have it now anyhow, oh well.

I totally agree on smoking - and if that makes me hypocritcal to take such a firm stance on that, and not the other issues, then so be it, but that is just my personal stance and I do not judge others and actually really feel for those who struggle with any kind of addiction, pregnant or not!

Cheers ladies.

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Reply by erin12 » Sep. 5, 2011 8:57pm

This is a very interesting question!

I love my wine and so when we started trying, each month after my fertile period was over I would stop drinking until either A) I got my period or B) I was pregnant. I found that this was a good way for me to cut down and so far I really haven't had any craving for a drink at all ( I`m 10 weeks)

I like the cultural part of your question:

I`m in Canada , and I feel that if I were to be seen drinking in public it would be very socially unacceptable. Even with friends , a sip would maybe be òk`but anything more would be taboo.

Having said that, my personal view is not to drink anything until the end of the second trimester and at that point Ill allow myself a small glass of wine or a sip here and there from my husbands glass.

As a special education teacher I know first hand was FAS ( fetal alcohol syndrome) looks like and it takes more than 1 glass of wine at Christmas to cause it so I'm not worried.

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Reply by Loris201 » Aug. 30, 2018 11:09pm

Perhaps during pregnancy you will want to give up coffee or at least reduce its intake by replacing stimulants that do not pass through the placenta. Caffeine increases the heart rate and the rate of metabolic processes of the child - just like an adult. Moreover, caffeine can remain in the blood of the child longer and at higher concentrations, since the child's liver, which is not fully formed, is not able to get rid of this substance as quickly as the mother's. Caffeine increases the level of the stress hormone adrenaline and - at least theoretically - can limit the flow of blood to the uterus, thus depriving the child of oxygen and nutrients.
Whatever the likelihood of harming a child, consuming caffeine during pregnancy does not benefit the mother. The body of a pregnant woman takes caffeine much slower, and this stimulant lingers in her blood for a longer time. In addition, caffeine promotes the excretion of calcium from the body, increasing its amount, excreted in the urine. Caffeine also has a diuretic effect, which can lead to excessive loss of fluid, as well as to frequent urination, which is already a problem for pregnant women. In addition, caffeine affects the absorption of iron, the intake of which is very important during pregnancy.
If your body is used to daily caffeine stimulation
Do not brew coffee and do not brew tea too long. A bag of tea, which was brewed for one minute, gives twice less caffeine than the one that was brewed five minutes. As a rule, the longer coffee or tea was brewed or the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine is contained in them.
 Try to switch to infusions of herbs that do not contain caffeine. Coffee or decaffeinated tea still contains a small amount of this substance. If you can not refuse coffee, take instant decaffeinated coffee, and not one that is chemically produced - it can contain harmful substances.
  Read the labels on soft drinks or ask sellers about their composition before buying a bottle.
  If you are satisfied with just a hot infusion or a drink, try drinking hot water (you can add lemon), warm milk, hot apple juice or herbal tea.
  If you can not start the day without the usual cup of morning coffee, discourage yourself from caffeine gradually. Drink the drink from a mixture of ordinary and caffeine-free coffee, gradually reducing the proportion of its usual.

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Reply by nreiselpn » Aug. 31, 2018 2:22am

It wasn't for me too many unknown risks not to mention it's such a short time.

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