Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Drinking Red Wine while Pregnant

"Another study has shown that drinking red wine during pregnancy can also help in the development of the child. It has been observed that such children score better in vocabulary tests and also are able to identify shapes, letters, colors, numbers, etc. better than the other children, when they are 18 months old."

Read more:
Drinking Red Wine while Pregnant

9 LadyMama voices:

Chana said... [Reply to comment]

Lately I've come across some posts by moms-to-be in support of drinking red wine during pregnancy. Having recently studied this topic in a course, I just want to mention a few points. Alcohol can be incredibly damaging if it's consumed during a critical period, when the baby is undergoing significant and imperative development. If the fetus, however, is not amid a critical period, there will be no damaging results. The issue is that neither mom or doctor know when exactly that critical period is taking place -- as they happen all throughout the pregnancy for varying time spans -- and even ONE alcoholic drink at the wrong time can have devastating effects. This explains why some alcoholic's have given birth to perfectly healthy babies, while others moms who had a drink or two may birth a severely damaged child. So, really, I'm not sure that cup of red wine during pregnancy is all that worth it.

Mimi Hecht said... [Reply to comment]

Right - but I think the point of the recent studies is saying that while that certainly pertains to alcohol in general, it EXCLUDES red wine specifically.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

The absolute latest studies show - and this is from a friend that interviewed the doctors in Israel who have spent years conducting these studies - that alcohol in moderation has no long lasting affects on a fetus (by the time the mother's liver processed the alcohol and its filtered through the placenta very little actually gets to the developing baby).
BUT even one day of BINGE DRINKING, especially in the very beginning of pregnancy can be devastating to the baby (and there is no way - as of yet - to determine the damage until observing the baby at birth).
European women have been advised for years to drink a single glass of red wine daily to encourage relaxation and up their iron levels, I wonder if a study has been done comparing the rates of FAS in countries where they instruct women to abstain completely to places where moderation is encouraged.
(This 'we really don't know the when and how much, so be safe with none' attitude brings up another issue. It's 2010, many many many studies were conducted on this, it seems dubious that they were all so inconclusive. I think what's pretty clear is that the places with higher suing rates instruct women to restrict all alcohol and I imagine that the risk of the doctor being sued has a lot more to do with that directive than the scientific 'risks' of moderate alcohol consumption.)

Chana said... [Reply to comment]

Mimi, does that logically make sense? I can't quite imagine that little fetus's have the uncanny ability to detect red wine vs. any other kind of alcohol. (As a side note, there are thousands of studies researched and published each year, but they are really, really not all credible, and people need to be discerning before they ascribe to a random hypothesis by a random professor.)

And in regard to what Anonymous wrote, it makes much sense that a woman's liver will process the alcohol and the placenta will filter, but the body is not entirely predictable. There is a flux and flow, and people -- and babies in turn -- have different sensitivity levels. Again, it just doesn't seem worth it. Are moms-to-be so desperate for that one glass of wine? Like Anonymous said, the research is ongoing and inconclusive... It's convenient and comforting to side with the opinion we prefer, but it may come at a great cost.

Mimi Hecht said... [Reply to comment]

Chana, do we know each other? I keep thinking you're one Chana, but that Chana isn't in any courses :)

The idea isn't about being desperate for a glass of wine - it's about studies affirming that red wine has actual BENEFITS. And, actually, no, you can't equate red wine to ALCOHOL, as in the ALCOHOL that doctors usually warn about...as in hard alcohol.

Honestly, you can apply your same thinking (about not trusting studies and "random" hypotheses) to anything! It's not too hard to decipher which studies can be trusted and which ones shouldn't. I don't think any doctors are out there to help women make bad decisions...and the fact that red wine is promoted for pregnancy wellbeing in most countries says a lot (maternity care and education in America is really not so high on the list).

That being said, I definitely agree we should always be on the side of caution! There's no reason women should take this as a call to stock up on red wine during their pregnancy...

Chana said... [Reply to comment]

Hey Mimi,

Yes, we do know each other! This is Chana Lewis.

Regarding your comment about studies. It's not that doctors/researchers are intentionally encouraging women to make bad decisions, but that the research itself is wrong. Over the last hundred years, so many studies once lauded as concrete truths have caused immeasurable damage and since been debunked.

There's a "Publish or Perish" concept in the academic/scholarly arenas... Professors need to put out work or else they'll lose credibility or tenure. So quite often they publish total regurgitated junk, and sometimes data is falsified or simply not researched well. Often, most readers are impressed with the scholarship and just don't know better.

In this case, perhaps red wine is good for your baby, but so is playing Mozart.

And you're right that red wine is not the same as hard alcohol, but women need to be cautious. Quoting such a study on your blog also entails some responsibility on your part... at least a note that caution is key.

Sorry, I don't mean to be so critical, but it's really an important issue to address with accuracy.

Mimi Hecht said... [Reply to comment]

Hey Chana :)

I tooootally hear your point about studies. At the same time, that's no "rule" to approach ALL studies with! The same studies you say that have been debunked...couldn't THIS study be DEBUNKING the myth of the zero-alcohol rule?

This one certainly seems credible - certainly as credible as I can humanly confirm. I used three doctors and 4 midwives during my pregnancy, and ALL OF them said that not only CAN I have red wine, but that its "GOOD" (Yes, I was one of those freaks who asked everyone the same questions...and, yes, I like red wine!).

Playing Mozart is great, but I like red wine more than Mozart. Okay, I kid - but the point is that if doctors and studies confirm the benefits and you like to enjoy red wine...go ahead! Yes, with CAUTION and BALANCE!

Okay I'm just repeating myself :)

My mom's a nurse. My sisters in nursing school. I have a sister-in-law that's a labor and delivery nurse and a sister-in-law in residency. We've had this conversation before (they all having studied the subject) and they've learned that the risks are exaggerated and the benefits do exist. So I'm curious to hear more about what you've learned in school. Are you saying you've been stressed the detriments of red wine? Hard alcohol, obviously. But red wine?

I have to disagree about needing to post a caveat along with the link. It's something I deemed credible and shared with the assumption that most women understand this requires moderation. Beyond that, the article itself spells that out repeatedly.

Chana said... [Reply to comment]

Mimi, I'll write more when I have some time. Studying for an exam now :). Be well.

Cheerio said... [Reply to comment]

on a practical note for frum women - knowing that you can drink red wine during your pregnancy can help you avoid those embarassing moments early in the pregnancy when you might refuse wine without being able to explain why...