Drinking For Two?


To drink or not to drink: That's the question many expectant moms are now asking. A recent Wall Street Journal article, claiming moderate drinking during pregnancy is okay, has sparked a new debate about the subject. Serese Cole finds out if it's safe.

Jill Austin says she did everything she could during her pregnancy to make sure little Conner was healthy -including putting her drinking on hold.

"I don't want to run the risk of any possible side affects that it would have on him. - just for the pure pleasure of one drink," said Austin.

But economist Emily Oster says her research proves a little wine - every now and then - may not be bad for your baby or their brain development.

"We just don't know how much is too much," said Dr. Tifany Somer Shely.

Dr. Somer Shely - disagrees. She says whether wine is harmful to a baby depends on two unknowns: how fast a mother would metabolize it and how fast the baby would metabolize it.

"If you put the two together, a slow metabolizing mom with a slow metabolizing baby - even a half glass of wine could be detrimental."

How detrimental?

For decades we've known heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or severe birth effects, but she says kids whose mother's had low levels of alcohol - a glass or two a week - were also found to have problems - including lower IQ's and poor growth.

Dr. Somer-Shely put it this way, "Would you pour a glass of wine in to your baby's bottle - then feed it to them? That's basically what moms do when they drink during pregnancy.

"Lets say you had 2 glasses of wine and you had a good little buzz - that baby has the same little buzz going." she said.

And while some medical experts say an occasional glass of wine in the 3rd trimester won't hurt...

"I will say it's never safe." said Dr. Somer-Shely.

For Jill it was an easy choice -
"I would prefer just have a healthy little guy."

A glass of wine - wasn't a risk she was willing to take.

A recent Center For Disease Control study revealed about one in nine pregnant women drink in the United States. These women tend to be more well off and educated. And while some expectant moms drink and have no problems, others do. So until more conclusive research is done, doctors advise against it.


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