Sign Up
Alcohol in pregnancy
Pregnancy Feb 12, 2020
3 Minutes

Alcohol and Pregnancy: the latest…

There is quite a bit of confusion when it comes to having alcohol – usually meaning the odd glass of wine – during pregnancy. Let’s be honest, we are not talking a bottle of wine here. We all know that is totally out. Some people say it’s fine, others say it is not. The trouble is the research so far has been somewhat lacking (ethically it is hard to recruit a trial for that – I mean who would want to test this?!) and contradictory. The latest research out has taken a different approach in order to reach a more robust conclusion. Bottom line: it is suggesting there is enough evidence to stay away. However, once again question marks remain….

Here’s the latest/what you need to know: 

What the latest research says about alcohol and pregnancy:

We know heavy drinking is unequivocally bad. It has been clearly linked to something called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Not many women will do that during pregnancy – certainly no one that is spending time on this site! The question is more around is it safe to have the odd glass of wine now and again?

So far, it’s confusing. The trouble is that many of the studies to date have been what is known as ‘observational’. There are also lots of confounding factors at play (that means lots of other elements that could impact outcome). Even more menacing is recent research suggesting that certain alcohol industry funded organisations have been damping down concerns around drinking during pregnancy. Adding to the confusion. Yep. Check it out here… 

So, can we have a glass of wine? 

The absolute answer is that questions remain. Specifically is there a linear progression (ie. more alcohol = greater issue?) Or is there a safe threshold? Ie. A glass of wine now and again?

The most robust study to date recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology (click here) has tried to take a more scientific approach and thoroughly review the trials that have gone on to date to come out with some conclusions…. 

The latest study suggests that complete avoidance is best: 

The strongest evidence for avoiding it altogether seems to be effects around cognitive (brain) development and birth weight:

’the overall picture that emerges from this review is that moderately strong evidence exists for detrimental effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on cognitive outcomes’.

Questions remain: so please don’t freak out if you’re pregnant and have had the odd glass of wine! 

There is enough stuff out there to make us feel bad/guilty without us piling in with more. So please do not feel bad! The reality is that this study is not conclusive and by its own admission has struggled to show causative effects particularly at low levels:

‘the evidence of specific causal effects of alcohol in pregnancy, especially at low levels of exposure is limited’

Bottom line: 

Although there are unanswered questions, this does add some robustness to the conclusions by bodies such as the NHS in the UK who recommends total abstinence during pregnancy. Particularly when it comes to your baby’s brain development and birth weight. So, conclusion is it’s best to err on the side of caution and say no. It’s not forever. For stress busting (as we know a glass of wine can be great for that!) try other things: gentle exercise, a five minute meditation – click here for more of the ‘how to’. You’ll be surprised how quickly 9 months can fly by!

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

The Journey Logo

Copyright © 2019

Welcome to The Journey

Each month we will be giving away a curated box of goodies to suit the individual stage of your Journey, worth £100. To enter the draw and join us, enter your details below. Winner announced at the end of the month.

 

Welcome to The Journey

Each month we will be giving away a curated box of goodies to suit the individual stage of your Journey, worth £100. To enter the draw and join us, enter your details below. Winner announced at the end of the month.

 

Next on your journey?