Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Wine Babies

If 1,600 Danish schoolchildren are to be trusted, and who ever knows with those guys, "A Daily Glass of Wine Is Okay During Pregnancy." There's also something called a "Last Blast," for which there must be a better name. Unknowing ... pre-showing. Post-conception ... [20 minutes pass] Most-ingestion? I don't know.


pregnancy, wine, booze

87 Comments / Post A Comment


I love that literally millions, if not billions of women throughout history who drank wine, and beer (especially when beer was safer than water to drink), was not sufficient evidence to prove that alcohol in small, or moderate amounts is fine. In France doctors say a glass or two a day is fine, whereas in North America, nothing is too much? I guess that is the difference between a puritan heritage and a catholic one :P


@ReginaChristina I don't even think it has to do with that, because even in the '60s it was OK to drink during pregnancy here. It has a little bit to do with the discovery of fetal alcohol syndrome, and I guess people are just too dumb to realize it only happens when the mother is a severe alcoholic?


@ReginaChristina Yeah but millions of people also used lead dishes (and later paint) and let kids play with mercury--just because people did something and survived in the past doesn't mean it's a good idea to do now.

(And in defense of my beloved Puritans, they were among the people who drank beer over water! They didn't like drunkenness, but were all for alcohol.)

Springtime for Voldemort

@Megano! And, as a bonus, they get to tell pregnant women what to do with their bodies. So there is a bit of an incentive to be a bit head-in-the-sand about the whole thing.


@Springtime for Voldemort People who always long to tell women what to do with their bodies get the excuse of "but what about the baby?". It's the ultimate excuse for concern trolling.

Springtime for Voldemort

@Blushingflwr "You're so interested in the welfare of the baby? Cool! Listen, stress is also bad for the baby, so if you aren't going to give me my glass of wine as you are legally required to, you are going to have to rub my feet. Right here, right now. Awww, yeah, that's the stuff - mama likes it rough!"


@Megano! The idea that only severely alcoholic women can have kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders has been out since the 80's. There are a whole slew of risk factors for having a kids with an FASD, like the BAC level and at what stage you are in pregnancy when you drink. For example, a night of binge drinking is probably worse for fetal brain development than a glass of wine a day. There are also protective factors, like diet and age, that can make it less likely that you'll have a child with FASD if you do drink. When it comes down to it, there are no hard and fast rules about whether you will or will not have a child with FASD if you drink during pregnancy.

There have been hundreds of studies about fetal alcohol exposure, and the only consensus that has been reached in the field thus far is that scientists have not been able to find an amount of alcohol that is safe for women to consume during pregnancy. Until they do, they have to advise women not to drink while pregnant.

Daisy Razor

Yeah, I drank an entire bottle of prosecco two nights before discovering I was pregnant. It didn't ruin the baby.

But my daughter's doctor (who was also my college roommate) pointed out that doctors are hesitant to tell people that they can drink "moderately" because she once had a patient who defined "moderate drinking" as "half a case in one evening."


@Daisy Razor
Yea, for as litigious a society as we are I'm sure that's a huge part of what's holding us back from accepting this.
As far as I know my aunt didn't drink throughout her pregnancy, but I recall being told she celebrated one of her labors with a glass of champagne. I love that.


@Daisy Razor I was actually very, very drunk when I took the pregnancy test. Obviously, I was expecting a negative. Whoops!


@Daisy Razor This is a good point, I was ready to be all like "we already know this" but yeah some people have a different definition of "moderate".

Daisy Razor

@iceberg Right? But on the other hand you have people saying you should stop drinking altogether as soon as you start trying to get pregnant. Which...no, sorry. There has to be a happy medium somewhere!


@Daisy Razor Here's my theory. It's known that alcohol CAN adversely affect fertility and fetal development, SO if you are trying and whatever, it gives you something you can have control over. Fertility (and probably baby health too) is such a crapshoot anyway it's kind of nice to have SOMETHING you feel like you can do to affect the outcome

Daisy Razor

@iceberg Aw, that's true. Sadly, like every other piece of helpful-to-some-but-not-all advice for mothers-to-be it gets used by judgey people for questions like "Should you be drinking wine while you're trying to get pregnant?"


@Daisy Razor
...And if you're pregnant and want to order a drink in a restaurant and they refuse or give you a hard time, raise some holy hell! They can't legally do that.
In fact, my volunteering makes me a mandated reporter and alcohol or marijuana use by a pregnant woman isn't reportable.

Jillsy Sloper

@Daisy Razor Yeah, but it's also kind of depressing to make a bunch of major life changes like that and STILL not get pregnant.


I averaged a couple glasses a week for most of my pregnancy, & thus far the little dude is fine. I even had a beer or two sprinkled in there. Granted he's only 7 weeks, so I suppose there's a lot more time for something to go wrong.


@hallelujah I feel like if anyone needs a glass or two of wine a week it's pregnant ladies.


@hallelujah Can you call my pregnant roommate? She made a pained face when I was about to put a splash of white wine in pasta sauce the other night, but is drinking coffee like a... caffeinated fish.

All none of my beeswax, of course. It's just that this pregnancy thing has allowed her control issues to run rampant. YOU WOULD BE EATING LITERALLY A TEASPOON OR LESS OF WINE THAT HAD BEEN COOKED! Ok I'm done.

baked bean

@RNL Yeah if it's cooked it's no longer alcoholic.


Initiation of Gestation Libation Application


Looong time reader, first time commenter. I was absolutely plastered at my son's father's birthday party and had no idea I was 2-4 weeks pregnant at the time. I was also a bartender and drank often. I discovered I was pregnant around 8-9 weeks. I also smoked like a freight train (I cut back as soon as I knew for sure and by 8 months I had quit entirely). My doctor just told me to taper myself off the smoking since Wellbutrin made me nuts. My boy is robustly healthy, entirely too smart and perceptive for his own good, and I could not be more proud of him.

So, anyway, it's ok to have a few drinks and even a cigarette or two when pregnant.

Heat Signature

Can we really trust the Danish, though, you guys?


@Heat Signature great, now I want a danish.

RK Fire

@Heat Signature: They can be quite cheesy.


I very very recently discovered that I'm pregnant, and for the week or so before I figured it out, it was Hurricane Sandy week, and I was drunk and stoned the whoooooooooooooooooole time. Of course, now the morning sickness is so relentless that I couldn't have a glass of wine if I wanted to. If it ain't crackers or potatoes, it's all comin' back up anyway.


@werewolfbarmitzvah - would congratulations be appropriate? have strength, just eat whatever you can - werewolfcub will be fine, and it will pass.


@iceberg Thanks, congratulations are somewhat appropriate! It wasn't planned, but at this rate, I'm 30, I'm married, I have health insurance, so as long as the fetus doesn't turn out to have horns or ten eyeballs from all that weed I smoked before finding out, may as well try this baby thing out and see how it goes!


Then good luck and god speed!


@werewolfbarmitzvah awesome! at least you are doing it the smart way a.k.a. one at a time ;)


@werewolfbarmitzvah Echoing the good luck, congratulations, don't worry, etc.


@werewolfbarmitzvah OH and don't read any FUCKING books about babies like that awful what to expect one, they will make you want to die.


@werewolfbarmitzvah Congratulations! I think the most you have to worry about from the weed, is probably a profound appreciation of Sublime, and Cypress Hill when the kid is old enough to pick out music.


@werewolfbarmitzvah Eeeeek, I am so excited that there will be a werewolfbarmitzvahbaby!


@iceberg Oh yeah, my sister already warned me that What to Expect is the worst book! She's bringing me the Mayo Clinic guide as an alternate, which she says is way more sane.


@werewolfbarmitzvah Congratulations! Your little one will probably be just fine. I second @iceberg's comment. Don't read "What to Expect When You're Expecting". It is horrid and will give you multiple guilt trips every time you open it. Best advice I can give you is to try and stay hydrated during the first trimester. If plain water makes you sick, try the flavored drink packets (Kool Aid, Crystal Light, etc).

Springtime for Voldemort

@werewolfbarmitzvah Congrats! And then, gosh, I hope you feel better soon!


@werewolfbarmitzvah Mazel tov! And yeah, if my peer group is any indication, the kid will probably be fiiiiine. (Goddamned hippies.)


@werewolfbarmitzvah Just want to say that the Mayo Clinic book is great. It's the only one I read during my pregnancy and I found it very reassuring/helpful. Enjoy.


@werewolfbarmitzvah Congrats! And no worries - my friend has the smartest 6-year-old I know, and she occasionally smoked weed (and cigarettes) throughout her pregnancy.

Nicole Cliffe



@werewolfbarmitzvah Congratulations to you, and here is the wish I make for all pregnant ladies: may you grow this little tiny human being inside of you without anyone, anyone at all, giving you unsolicited advice on how to do it, for they will know that you are the only one who can create this particular baby werewolf, and therefore understand that there is no one more qualified to do it perfectly. In the name of Luckdragons, I wish this wish for you.


@werewolfbarmitzvah congrats! If you are feeling morning sickness, try eating protein instead of carbs. It works better. Start off the morning taking tiny bites of a protein bar or something easily chewed. Then finish it slowly. It really does a much better job. I promise. It took me three tries to figure it out!


Last blast-ocyst? Any better?




@TheLetterL Gastrul-ebration?

superfluous consonants

@TheLetterL drunkocyst!


when I read just the title of this post, I had a vision of myself gathering a bunch of wine bottles in my arms and proclaiming them MY BABIES. Then I read further and...ohhhh. but now I'm thinking about putting a jug of wine in a baby bjorn, so, I don't know.


@telling_everyone Also a valid life choice. Just because you're child-free doesn't have to mean you're incapable of LOVE, goddamnit.


@telling_everyone Only if you put little googly eyes on it.


I am 12 weeks pregnant and one of my coworkers (who knows I am expecting) saw me nursing a glass of wine at a work function and helpfully sent me this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20325000

...which made we want to drink another glass just to be snotty, but I really can't handle more than half a glass of wine while pregnant so I had some tonic and lime (hoping he'd think it was something more potent) but then I read that tonic is bad for pregnancy so I am doomed, I might as well eat as much soft cheese and sushi as I want.


Oh my god. I am so concerned about your child's every last IQ point, I must shame you in your workplace! How sweet.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@pdflibrarian One of the first meals I had after I learned I was preggers was a Jimmy John's beach club which has sprouts (Bad!) and turkey (EVEN WORSE!!) on it. We all died.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@pdflibrarian (PS THis was before I learned I wasn't supposed to have that stuff. But then I went back to both food items when I hit 9 months because I was like, this bird is cooked.)


@pdflibrarian Tonic is bad for pregnancy? Dude. My sister-in-law and half my friends have had their OBs and midwives recommend it for second trimester leg cramps! I am a doula and have literally never heard that tonic was a no-no. Gin yes, tonic not as much.


@Claire Zulkey@twitter No turkey?! This is just getting WAY out of hand now.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@Punk-assBookJockey deli meats, unless they are heated up real good to kill all the potential poison. I know, yum, right?


My partner and I are thinking of the conception thing. We like drinks. All I ever see are "do not under any circumstance have a single drink" articles. These comments make me feel much calmer. Thanks guys.


@AMS Right? It's so strongly propagated that you shouldn't touch a drop when preggers!
I have a SIL who wouldn't even take panadol while pregnant because she wanted to have a baby who wasn't going to be all allergic to things. Baby came out was allergic to chocolate.
Friend was pregnant and drank moderately (maybe 4 glasses a week of red?) AND ate soft cheese (gasp!), AND drank coffee. Guess whose baby came out perfectly fine and has no allergies/food intolerances as far as I know? And also is like, the most adorable bundle of gurgling cute you ever saw?

It's a crapshoot, I tells ya.
<3 u, hairpin, for your mythbusting threads.


I had a few glasses of wine when I was pregnant. A beer or two. I ate soft white cheese and cantaloupe and I drank a cup of black tea every day. I am currently watching my massive, healthy, creepy-smart six-month-old babble and fling herself around in her jumperoo to the Corin Tucker Band. It's all good.


@MmeLibrarian Also, it should be noted that I had many of those glasses of wine in restaurants while I was visibly pregnant. No one batted an eyelash.

Daisy Razor

@MmeLibrarian Yup. It might be because I live in godless heathen Massachusetts, but I never had any trouble with getting a glass at a restaurant.


@Daisy Razor Me neither. My husband and I had a pre-birth celebratory dinner 4 days before my c-section, and split a bottle of pinot noir. No one batted an eyelid...probably because they were all secretly terrified I'd pop any minute.


I am not into pregnancy shaming and all that, and I don't think that having the occasional glass of wine is going to ruin your baby. However, I do think that if you need a glass of wine every day during your pregnancy you should maybe look into why you feel that is necessary. Like, pregnant ladies be avoiding soft cheeses...but you're going to take your chances and drink every day? I'm not a medical doctor, but I say better safe than sorry. My mom smoked while she was pregnant with me and my siblings and we all have asthma. My poor brother has it the worst and has been to the emergency room countless times. So, I guess I have *feelings* about this kind of stuff.


@chevyvan Wine is delicious and goes great with the giant plate of pasta you want to have every night because you're starving?

A glass of wine is not the same as a cigarette. Not even close.


@MmeLibrarian I'm not saying they're the same. But seriously, you don't *need* a glass of wine every single day and if you do, maybe you should figure out why.

Daisy Razor

@chevyvan If you *need* alcohol every day, you are not going to stop at a single glass with a meal, which is what this study is about.


@chevyvan My mother gave up smoking, drinking, caffiene, and dairy products as soon as she got pregnant, but my siblings and I all have asthma, allergies, caffiene addictions and I'm lactose intolerant. Anecdata is not very good "evidence".

You don't NEED a glass of wine every day while pregnant, no more than you should NEED a glass while not pregnant, and yet people still drink. Pregnant women, who amazingly keep being people even after they get pregnant, drink for the same reasons everyone else drinks.


@MilesofMountains Of course there's no way of proving definitively my mother's smoking caused my asthma. I do quantitative research for a living, so no anecdotal evidence lectures required here. I'm talking about my personal experience and why I feel the way I do. Please keep in mind that having never been pregnant does not make me incapable of reasoning out why a pregnant woman would want to drink. If you are pregnant, you're going to do what you want to do no matter what anyone else has to say about it...and I think that's the way the world should be. But I also think we should be able to discuss/recognize where the line is between "Women are adults who own their own bodies" and "Some behavior is potentially harmful to someone other than yourself and there's a lot of gray area."


@chevyvan I think the thing is, since this is an article about a study proving that a daily glass of wine *isn't* going to harm your baby, it's a little odd to come back with a comment like yours: "Well, that's all well and good, but do you really NEED a glass of wine every day?" The whole point is that nobody NEEDS a glass of wine every day, but some people - including pregnant ones - might LIKE to have a glass of wine every day, and that the evidence suggests there's no need for those people to put their decision under a microscope.


@winslow This is silly, really, and I have a simple solution - Next time chevyvan sees a pregnant friend/acquaintance/coworker with a glass of wine or a beer, she should sidle up to them and earnestly say "But do you really *need* that?" and report back as to what happens. Research!

Springtime for Voldemort

@chevyvan I would suspect that women who are down with the occasional, even daily, glass of wine are probably also the women who are not 100% abstaining from the delicious goodness that is soft cheese.

Do you perhaps have a plan for a woman who did have a look as to why she had a glass of wine every day while pregnant, and figured out What Was Going On There, as to what she should do next other than feel judged by you?

Claire Zulkey@twitter

I drank some while I was pregnant and the baby is a total mess. He is loud and shits his pants. I think had I abstained this would not have happened.


@Claire Zulkey@twitter Snorted so embarassingly loudly.


@Claire Zulkey@twitter So you're telling us he's STILL drunk?


@Claire Zulkey@twitter Damn it, Claire, I got a noseful of green tea in that spittake.

But I'm not pregnant, guys. So it's okay for me to be drinking that.

baked bean

@Claire Zulkey@twitter LOL YES. Thank you.

Nicole Cliffe

I had a glass or two a week during my second and third tri, and was happy as a clam with it. My mom did not find out she was pregnant with me for four (!) months, during which time she had a lot of Demerol while passing a kidney stone, and drank and smoked happily, and LOOK AT HOW GREAT I AM.

To be fair, she also could not figure out why she'd lost her taste for Scotch suddenly, and now thinks it was a helpful evolutionary adaptation.


My s-i-l, God love her, would not touch a drop of alcohol while pregnant, not even a sip of someone else's. The official "no-alcohol" policy from her doctor turned her into a neurotic pharisee. God bless America, man -- concern trolls and fucking CYA obstetric policies that have no basis in actual medicine! Hooray!

Honestly, is it that hard for a doctor/midwife to say, "Two to four alcohol units (a unit meaning 12 oz of beer or 6 oz of wine) per week should be your limit. If you have a hard time limiting your consumption once you've had a drink, you should avoid alcohol altogether. I'm happy to provide you with some resources if that sounds like it'll be a struggle for you."?

Also, I think all of my girlfriends have had a Last Blast. I can't tell you how many times I've heard some variation of, "I'm pregnant! I took a test because the hangover I had from the Saturday before last just would NOT go away, so... fingers crossed I didn't permanently damage my kid!"


Totally trust the Danes. They are the most chill people on earth. I was visiting a friend in Copenhagen last year, and when we were watching TV in her apartment I was all 'Did he just say 'motherfucker'? This show is very swear-y for 3 in the afternoon' (I had the English subtitles on) and it turned out that we were watching a kids' show. When we flipped to another channel there was a documentary about transvestism featuring A LOT of full-frontal nudity. Seriously, Denmark is great.


I think from now on whenever I eat or drink anything forbidden to pregnant ladies I am going to loudly assure people around me that I'm not pregnant.

Because clearly it is their business at all times. You don't know for sure. I could be early on. Not showing yet. Carrying low. I'm a woman. Women are sneaky. Sometimes they have stealthy pregnancies and eat all kinds of things they shouldn't and the people around them never even have a chance to tell them off. That's some inconsiderate shit. The buck stops here.

All ladies everywhere, please be sure to explain your choices out loud to those around you, regardless of your pregnancy status. They have a right - nay, they have a DUTY - to know.


@Linette You know, I'm going to pass this along to my post-menopausal mother, because NOBODY gets to bawl her out for shit she does in public. They should really have at least the hypothetical chance to do so. Hell, my 90-year-old grandma should probably start doing it too, just in case.

baked bean

My cousin and her husband were afraid to eat at a sushi restaurant because, even though she would order veggie sushi, they were afraid that there'd be some kind of CONTAMINATION somehow from the fish on accident maybe and that'd jeopardize the whole thing. Really? Really?


I am so happy this posted right before thanksgiving. I was planning on having a glass of wine anyway (I'm 6 months) but this totally killed the "guilt trip". Thanks Hairpin! Love ya!


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