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ETOH & Pregnancy

What's the consensus on this board about ETOH use during pregnancy?  I saw this topic on a previous board somewhere a couple weeks ago and I bit my tongue really hard not to say anything.  Then, it came across our April 2012 board, and I just couldn't resist tossing some facts out there from a lot of different sources.

We do not agree with any alcohol use during pregnancy, no matter what.  I believe there were only 1-2 people that agreed with me and every other person disagreed.  I could NOT believe it.  I really thought that like 1% of the population would be okay with this, and 95% of the people on that board act like it's no big deal.  Many of them said they thought it was acceptable to have a glass of wine every couple weeks or once per month.

Perhaps it has to do with all the tough times for us before getting pregnant, or the fact that we're both nurses and we have read and seen what can happen.  Whatever it is, I'm in shock about all of their reactions.  What are your thoughts?? 

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Re: ETOH & Pregnancy

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    I didn't know what ETOH meant, so after looking it up I assume you're referring to "Extremely Trashed or Hammered." If so, my first thought is that that is much different than "a glass of wine every couple weeks or once per month," which is considered drinking in moderation.

    In the U.S., our stance culturally about alcohol during pregnancy is pretty strict  and is supported by many organizations, from the ACOG to the Surgeon General, to the March of Dimes.

    However, in other parts of the world this is not the case. In France and Italy, continuing to drink wine with a meal during pregnancy is not uncommon. And there's some research that shows it may not be as detrimental as once thought. (Here's one: https://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/155/4/305.full.pdf+html). Not to minimize the terrible and tragically preventable reality of FASD, it's also true that many children are born who have been exposed to smaller levels of alcohol during pregnancy and do not have lasting impacts from it.

    All that said, I think that this, like many decisions especially during pregnancy and parenthood, is a personal one that is best made after informed choice. 

    Personally, I give up alcohol during ttc and plan to during pregnancy, but it's not a huge part of our daily lives anyway (C doesn't drink) and doesn't feel like a big sacrifice. When I teach, I always say the "no amount has been proven safe" line and then refer them to their pregnancy care providers if they have further questions.

    Met 07/07/05, Wedding 07/07/07, Legal Marriage Ceremony 12/9/12, Baby Boy Born 08/09/13 Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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    ETOH is the medical abbreviation for alcohol.

    I drank (very much in moderation) during TTC - a beer here, a maragita there. Ironically (or perhaps not so much) the cycle (after 9 tries) that I got pregnant, we were at my parents' house at the beach during my TTW and I enjoyed a few beers while looking at the ocean. My doctors were very much in the "drink till it is pink" camp.

    During my pregnany I didn't drink at all. I also work in healthcare and while I am sure that a glass of wine every once in awhile would not harm the baby, I was not about to chance it. If something did go wrong, I didn't want the (added) guilt/worry that it was those few glasses of wine.

    We went to friends' wedding ceremony when I was about 22 weeks and I held a glass of champagne during the toast. After, I took a teeny sip (I LOVE champagne) and was shocked at the wrath of the other guests comments.

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    I didn't drink while pregnant.  I don't know if I may have had a glass of wine or beer later in my third trimester when I believe it is safer because I never made it that far.  I do know many people who did drink occasionally during pregnancy and can understand their thinking about it even if if was not a choice I would make.  That said I did drink while breast feeding (pumping).  I know that many people say this is a no no but I was assured by the nicu lactation consultant that it was perfectly fine to have a drink and that if you did not feel buzzed you did not have to pump and dump.  
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    At my AI consult, the midwife told me to give up drinking while TTC.  My understanding is that there is some evidence that it can affect fertility, and this process is so expensive and unpredictable that I want to do everything within my power to help it happen.  I had 2-3 glasses of wine on vacation a few months ago and 1 glass of wine on our anniversary, but other than that I've been alcohol-free since Memorial Day.  I definitely would not drink during a 2ww.  I know many women have no idea they're pregnant/becoming pregnant during that time, but as long as I know it's possible, I wouldn't want to jeopardize anything.

    Theoretically -- and I'm not a medical professional, but I do think Americans are too strict about a lot of things -- I don't feel like we need to be as strict as we are about alcohol consumption during pregnancy if pregnant women in other cultures are regularly drinking moderately without any ill effects to their babies.  I also feel this way about cheese, sushi, etc.  But practically I seriously doubt I would be able to bring myself to drink while pregnant -- how would I be able to forgive myself if anything happened?  And my goal (I'm not pregnant yet, but I'm already doing this) is for almost everything I put in my body to be good for the baby, so alcohol doesn't make the list even if it were not strictly harmful.

    I'm married to a former chef and we are very food oriented, which tends to include a fair amount of wine.  I never drank heavily but I do miss the wine!

    Married my wife 8/2007 ~ TTC #1 since 7/2011
    9 IUIs = 9 BFNs
    IVF October 2012: 22 eggs retrieved, 17 fertilized, 5 frozen
    ET #1: 1 blast = BFP; Blighted ovum discovered at 7w5d; D&E
    FET #1: 1 blast = BFP; Missed m/c discovered at 9w5d; D&E
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    I'm not pregnant yet so I don't know what I will do.  I'm trying to reserve a lot of decision making/definitive statements for when I'm in the moment because I think it's hard to predict how I'll really feel.  But from where I'm sitting right now, I don't think that having half a drink to one drink once a month is a big deal at all.  The biggest problem is that no one knows exactly where the line is, and no one wants to be responsible for defining it or for giving individual women the idea that they can safely define it for themselves.  

    The fact that heavy alcohol use can lead to a horrible condition does not mean that sparing use is also bad.  Women around the world and throughout time have safely drank moderately during pregnancy.  I think that choosing not to drink at all during pregnancy is a very rational choice for risk adverse women.  But I also think that choosing to drink an occasional drink or few sips of alcohol is fine.

    TTC with PCOS since July 2011.
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    Jen hates the taste of alcohol, so that's not an issue for us this time around. When it's my turn, I wouldn't turn down half a glass of champagne at a wedding or trying a few sips of my brother's beer at a restaurant or something like that. Even our RE told Jen that it was fine to have a drink occasionally.

    Frankly, I'm more concerned about sugar and processed/chemical stuff. 

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    Also, I read your reply on the April 2012 board, and I think it's pretty shitty to say that if you "truly love your baby" you won't have a glass of wine during pregnancy. Give me a break.
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    imageleapgirl8:
    Also, I read your reply on the April 2012 board, and I think it's pretty shitty to say that if you "truly love your baby" you won't have a glass of wine during pregnancy. Give me a break.

    Agree with this.  I think you would have had more success persuading them if you'd been a little more respectful.

    Married my wife 8/2007 ~ TTC #1 since 7/2011
    9 IUIs = 9 BFNs
    IVF October 2012: 22 eggs retrieved, 17 fertilized, 5 frozen
    ET #1: 1 blast = BFP; Blighted ovum discovered at 7w5d; D&E
    FET #1: 1 blast = BFP; Missed m/c discovered at 9w5d; D&E
    Karyotyping: normal ~ RPL Testing: normal ~ Hysteroscopy: normal
    FET #2: 1 blast transferred 10/25; BFP 10/31!
    EDD 7/13/14 ~ Induced at 37w4d due to pre-eclampsia ~ Born on 6/28/14
    *Everyone welcome*

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    imageball.and.chain:

    imageleapgirl8:
    Also, I read your reply on the April 2012 board, and I think it's pretty shitty to say that if you "truly love your baby" you won't have a glass of wine during pregnancy. Give me a break.

    Agree with this.  I think you would have had more success persuading them if you'd been a little more respectful.

     

    To clarify, I did not say that if you truly love your baby you don't have a glass of wine during pregnancy.  I said, "If you truly love your baby, then you shouldn't want to do anything that would put them at risk for development issues or delays.  And since the risks of alcohol are unknown and can or could cause negative effects, why risk it?" 

    You can say "it's pretty shitty" if you want, that's your opinion.  But, I stand behind it completely.  If you truly love your baby then you would want to protect them from harm, wouldn't you?  If alcohol has the potential to cause harm, then why would you risk it?  

    My goal was not to persuade them, but to present the facts as I know them and to try and protect innocent children from potential harm.  They're obviously going to think what they think, and some of them are currently drinking alcohol while pregnant.  That is completely their deal.  I gave them the facts, I said my opinion (as I have a right too), and it is what it is.  They have to live with their decisions. 

    With that said, I will say that the amount of backlash from this is very sad.  I can't believe how many people have have a negative attitude towards me for speaking out about ETOH use and pregnancy.  Furthermore, the use of profanity and name calling (on that board) is ridiculous.  Sure makes you wonder what they teach their kids, if that's how they act to a stranger they disagree with.

    If my statements were offensive, that's not what I was going for.  But, I don't believe it's judgmental to say that if you knowingly put your baby in (potential) harms way, then you don't truly love them.  If you truly love them, then their health, safety, growth, etc. should be your top priority.  Why would you want to do something to put those things at risk, when it's preventable?  Yes harm could come from a car accident, and all of the other things they suggested, but those are all accidents.  Consuming alcohol does not happen by accident.

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    imageKershnic:

    The fact that heavy alcohol use can lead to a horrible condition does not mean that sparing use is also bad.  Women around the world and throughout time have safely drank moderately during pregnancy.  I think that choosing not to drink at all during pregnancy is a very rational choice for risk adverse women.  But I also think that choosing to drink an occasional drink or few sips of alcohol is fine.

    I can get on board with the idea that an occasional drink probably has a low likelihood of causing FAS.  However, there's still a chance that it could.  And what about all of the other things that it may (or may not) cause?  What if those couple glasses of wine caused slower speech or motor development, behavior issues, etc.?  

    I don't think it has to be just about the major well known damage of FAS.  I think that's the main point, that if alcohol can/could potentially cause damage, even if it's a small amount, then is it worth the risk?  To me, no.  And it's shocking to me that others say yes.  I can't imagine the guilt in realizing there was preventable damage.  Or the time spent wondering, if I hadn't had that glass of wine, would X, Y, or Z be different?

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    You didn't get backlash for speaking out about ETOH use and pregnancy.  You got backlash for the WAY you spoke out about it.

    Married my wife 8/2007 ~ TTC #1 since 7/2011
    9 IUIs = 9 BFNs
    IVF October 2012: 22 eggs retrieved, 17 fertilized, 5 frozen
    ET #1: 1 blast = BFP; Blighted ovum discovered at 7w5d; D&E
    FET #1: 1 blast = BFP; Missed m/c discovered at 9w5d; D&E
    Karyotyping: normal ~ RPL Testing: normal ~ Hysteroscopy: normal
    FET #2: 1 blast transferred 10/25; BFP 10/31!
    EDD 7/13/14 ~ Induced at 37w4d due to pre-eclampsia ~ Born on 6/28/14
    *Everyone welcome*

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    I can understand that to some extent, but I still don't think I said anything that wasn't true and I feel like I kept it civil.  I never resorted to the name calling, profanity, or any other tactics that they used to get their point across.  

    No matter what a person says, there's always going to be someone that will be offended, that's life.  It happens to be a passionate subject for me, and I don't think people would be so upset about what I said unless they feel guilt about things they've done.

    Anyway it's yesterdays news.  Still can't believe the amount of women drinking during pregnancy.  So sad.  Just one of the many things wrong with this world I guess.

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    My family is Italian, so I grew up watching pregnant women having wine with their meals and giving birth to perfectly healthy babies. Notice I said wine with their meals - meaning one glass of wine, generally with dinner - NOT getting hammered. I don't drink a lot anyway - I'm a one-glass-of-wine-or-bubbly-with-dinner type - but I always thought my attitude when pregnant would be to say "I'll have a drink here and there if I want to." And I would have, except I hated the taste of alcohol when I was pregnant. I got to the point of wondering whether my taste for Champagne was entirely gone (it isn't). A couple of times during pregnancy, I said "a glass of wine would be nice with this meal," only to take a sip and find it horrendous.

    Honestly, I think Americans are too sensitive about this. If every and any amount of alcohol caused FAS, France and Italy wouldn't function. Drinking moderately during pregnancy is just not taboo in those countries, and they manage to have healthy babies.

    One of my favorite pregnancy stories remains the woman who came up to me at a restaurant when I was pregnant, hissed "I hope that's not a bloody mary," and walked away in a huff. It was tomato juice, but really, who the H do you think you are?

    Of course, heavy drinking in pregnancy is inexcusable - but to me, so is the consumption of harmful pesticides and horrendous chemicals people don't think twice about ingesting. I find it curious that people will be so vocal about alcohol but say nothing of all the other stuff we put in our bodies. Not to mention all the stuff we do today which we'll hear, tomorrow, is entirely unsafe. Just sayin'... 

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    imagethemommymonster:

    I did, however, drink coffee during my pregnancy. I gave it up while TTC and through a lot of 1st and 2nd tri, but by 3rd tri I was completely exhausted. I worked early mornings and long hours on my feet at the time. I had one or two cups of coffee each morning. Sometimes they were half caff but mostly they were full caff.

    I drank coffee sometimes, too (though end-of-pregnancy heartburn put a quick end to that!). And some Diet Coke. Oh, Diet Coke, how I love thee. When I said "the stuff we put in our bodies," I meant me, too! Diet Coke. Seriously. No one should EVER drink that, yet there's a can in my lunch bag. Embarrassed

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    I think this question is part of a larger question that is part of everyday life for anyone who is TTC, pregnant, or raising kids. There are a LOT of recommendations out there for people who are TTC about what you can do to maximize your health and likelihood of conception. Jen and I sat down and made a list before our first cycle and by the time I got to the end of it I was just laughing. There is no way she could have done all of those things without turning it into a full-time job, and even if she HAD done all of those things, that does NOT guarantee a pregnancy at the end of the day. And the end result would have been so much stress - trying to be the perfect baby-making machine who never makes any mistakes or any exceptions - that I really believe that the stress itself would have been detrimental to our attempts. We ended up just choosing the things that made the most sense and felt the most important to us, and scrapping the rest. I know we'll be making those same decisions for years to come - during further TTC attempts and hopefully someday as parents.
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    You never know the reasons why someone is making a choice they are making. I have had more than one pregnant friend be told by her doctor to have a glass of wine--help blood pressure or whatever.

    We should all (myself included) probably make better choices about what goes into our bodies.  But, happy mom= happy baby (within reason.)  I might feel comfortable with a glass of wine if I were pregnant, but not feel comfortable on a roller coaster, or whatever. 

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    imagethemommymonster:
    imagetdmklm:
    imagethemommymonster:

    I did, however, drink coffee during my pregnancy. I gave it up while TTC and through a lot of 1st and 2nd tri, but by 3rd tri I was completely exhausted. I worked early mornings and long hours on my feet at the time. I had one or two cups of coffee each morning. Sometimes they were half caff but mostly they were full caff.

    I drank coffee sometimes, too (though end-of-pregnancy heartburn put a quick end to that!). And some Diet Coke. Oh, Diet Coke, how I love thee. When I said "the stuff we put in our bodies," I meant me, too! Diet Coke. Seriously. No one should EVER drink that, yet there's a can in my lunch bag. Embarrassed

     

    My comment was not directed at you, just the conversation in general.

    I, for the most part, try not to pass judgement on anyone. I am not in their shoes and do not know what lead them to make the decisions they are making.

    Would I drink wine while pregnant? No. Am I going to judge someone for drinking a small amount of alcohol while pregnant? No.

    Will people judge me because I drank coffee while pregnant and did not heat up my lunch meat? Probably. Do I care? Not so much.

    One of my friends drank 3 cans of diet coke a day will KFTU. It was her decision and I do not judge her for it. She likes diet coke so she drank diet coke! She scaled back dramatically while pregnant, but drank it none the less.

    I can only control me and my actions.

    I know it wasn't directed at me - it just took me back to coffee drinking days! That, and I can't shut up. Like, ever. Smile

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