Alcohol and Pregnancy Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

It’s Ok To ‘Booze Binge’ While Pregnant???

When I read this headline, I wondered, “What is this world coming to?”

We have covered this subject extensively so it came as a SHOCK to read the headlines this week stating that pregnant moms could not only drink, while they are pregnant, they could binge drink (5 drinks in one sitting)!!!

There is some pleasure in knowing that this study, that was done at Oxford University, has caused a furore in medical circles.

“When pregnant women report isolated episodes of binge drinking in the absence of a consistently high daily alcohol intake … the evidence of risk seems minimal,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, published Wednesday.

The article goes on to say that:

The findings could provide comfort to expectant mothers who have been on a drinking binge before realising they are pregnant.

Health groups are furious, claiming the research sends a dangerous message to women already confused about conflicting advice on alcohol and pregnancy.The research comes just weeks after Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council released new guidelines warning pregnant women there was no safe drinking level.

Previously women were told they could drink up to seven standard drinks a week without risking their baby’s health.

“I don’t buy this nonsense that the evidence does not exist so drink up. The evidence does not exist so the safest thing to do is refrain,” said Sonia Berton, chief executive of Arbias, Australia’s only service for people with alcohol-related brain damage.

“The alcohol will reach your unborn baby within one minute and she/he will have exactly the same blood alcohol content as you do (and) the alcohol also stays in your baby longer than it does in you.” National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders

“A fetus does not have a mature enough liver until week nine weeks – so how on earth is consuming alcohol safe?”

The effects of sustained heavy drinking during pregnancy include miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and birth defects such as fetal alcohol syndrome.

The study did however find that evidence that occasional binge drinking could cause brain damage leading to behavioural problems, learning difficulties and speech impairment. But the effects were “‘generally quite small”. [How could brain damage be considered an effect that is “generally quite small”?]

“These are not small effects. Having a child that can’t learn at school, that doesn’t make friends easily, that doesn’t understand cause and effect, is not a small problem, especially as it’s with them for the rest of their life.” Sue Miers from the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders

Someone who needs to drink 5 drinks at a time while pregnant shouldn’t be having a baby. They are clearly not ready to make the sacrifices necessary to raise a healthy, strong child.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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