Is drinking the odd glass of wine OK during pregnancy, or do you even think that having several units of alcohol one after the other is acceptable? Research shows that there is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy even one or two drinks a week can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome for your baby. Yet, one in 13 pregnant Americans admit to drinking while they're expecting. A shocking new study carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shown that almost eight percent of pregnant women are willing to say that they abuse alcohol during pregnancy! A fifth of those women who admitted to drinking alcohol during pregnancy said that they had at least four drinks in one evening. You would think that most women who had a planned pregnancy would do everything in their power to provide their baby with a healthy start in life.
The study showed otherwise it found that pregnant drinkers were most likely to be older (between 35 and 44), well-educated, and employed. Researchers analyzed data from 340,000 women who answered questions about their drinking habits during pregnancy between 2006 and 2010. It's fair to assume that those women who reported drinking answered the questions truthfully, while there may actually be a larger percentage of women who did drink while expecting a baby and didn't feel comfortable being so open about it. The study authors concluded that "pregnant and non-pregnant women of childbearing age who misuse alcohol might benefit from public health interventions ... such as increased alcohol excise taxes and limiting alcohol outlet density."
In other words, the study authors don't want to rely on education to stop people from drinking, and want to limit their alcohol use in other ways instead. If you are trying to get pregnant, remember that there is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy and that the first few weeks of a baby's development are crucial. That means refraining from alcohol while you are trying for a baby is very important. Some people even argue that any woman of childbearing age who is sexually active should not drink in the last two weeks of her menstrual cycle, just in case she conceived. The message that alcohol and pregnancy don't combine, and that even small amounts of alcohol are risky, is everywhere. Let's hope more women will heed it in the future.