Frisky Readers Split Down The Middle On Drinking While Pregnant

Earlier this week, Ami posted about a recent article that said it’s becoming more common for women to have the occasional drink while pregnant. We polled you on what your drinking policy would be when you’re pregnant and over 4,700 of you responded. I suspect the results were shocking no matter how you voted, in that it was basically split down the middle. Over 48.5 percent of you indicated that you would drink while pregnant anywhere from only “on special occasions” (22.85 percent) to “every now and then” (24.1 percent), with 1.5 percent (74 of you!) vowing to imbibe even more regularly — though I hope you’re joking (as we were) about “passing the smokes.” Meanwhile, over 51 percent of you said you would have a zero tolerance alcohol policy while pregs. So what gives? For starters, I’m not judging. Personally, if I were able to get pregnant easily without complications (i.e., prior history of miscarriage, etc.) and was nearing the end of my second trimester, I would allow myself the occasional glass of wine (which I would savor!). This would be, of course, after confirming that it was OK with my doctor, but based on the reading I’ve done on the subject — and the experience of my pregnant friends — I’m confident that having a glass of wine from time to time would be A-OK.

The rest of you had a lot to say on this subject as well, with over 60 of you sharing your thoughts in the comments. Here is a sampling of the variety of opinions:

I’m shocked that so many people voted that they would drink alcohol while pregnant. Can you seriously not lay off the booze for just nine months? Yes, there are conflicting ideas about what’s healthy for your baby and what isn’t, so the safest bet is to just not do something risky when it’s unnecessary. If you want to relax, take up meditation or something. theattack

I had one small glass of red wine per week with both pregnancies. It lasted me 3+ hours and gave me something to look forward to on a Friday night. The problem Americans have with drinking is that so many take it excess that it’s easier to say “none at all” than use moderation. Personally, I believe it’s an individual’s choice. Unless you see someone consuming large quantities, MYOB. Pregnant women get enough unsolicited advice as it is. blondie09

Wow, I’m surprised at how zero tolerance everyone is here- I know we’ve all been raised to think that alcohol=death during a pregnancy, but more and more doctors are saying that it’s ok in moderation- FAS was in response to chronic drinking. I don’t drink that much to begin with, but I’ll probably have a drink every once in a while if I ever do get pregnant. We’ve become such an all-or-nothing society, and pregnant women get the brunt of that to a ridiculous extent- people feel free to go up to them and tell them what they should or shouldn’t be doing. Thanks, but I know the consequences of what I’m doing and if I’m carrying a child that doesn’t take away my thought processes, so shove it. Lexington

Honestly, it’s up to the individual person and individual pregnancy. It’s not my place to tell anyone but myself what’s right for me. I’ll keep that between me and my doctor. hlnbabe

The science is clear that alcohol is bad for a developing fetus. How much alcohol and how bad are not well known. I hope that everyone here makes whatever choice is best for them, and no matter their choice I don’t wish FAS on any baby, and I don’t wish a baby with FAS on anyone. ReadingIsFundamental

I chose the no-tolerance option but actually, I wouldn’t judge another person for drinking once in a while while preggers. I just wouldn’t myself. titsmcgee

I was a big beer drinker prior to pregnancy and have had an occasional sip here and there. I normally ask my husband to pour an inch or so off of his into a glass for me, and I make it last. I’m completely comfortable with that level of consumption but I honestly thought people would give me a hard time about it. Hardly! People have been really non-judgmental about it around me, color me shocked! SaraP

I’d be a hell of a lot more concerned about all of the other crap we put in/on our bodies than a glass of wine. Hormones in food, pesticides, parabens, steroids, medications… katiedo

So, were you shocked by the results of this poll? Did any of the comments from readers alter your perspective at all?