Alcohol and Pregnancy
Truth be told, there is not a lot of great research on maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Researchers can't instruct a pregnant woman to drink alcohol in a clinical trial and therefore data is hard to capture. There are some retrospective studies that provide insight on the impact of alcohol consumption on the fetus during gestation. Here are the takeaways:
No amount is confirmed to be
100% safe during pregnancy.
Research does tell us that excessive drinking, 4 or more drinks at one time, or more than 6 drinks in a week, may lead to negative behavioral or cognitive consequences for baby. We have less confirmation on health risks when it comes to minimal alcohol consumption.
Less than 1 drink/day shows no
significant impact on IQ scores,
attention or cognitive function.
In one study of 5,000 mother/child pairs, researchers looked at the above outcomes in children of moms who consumed various amounts of alcohol during pregnancy. The outcomes in question were not negatively skewed in mothers who consumed less than 1 drink/day. However, there may be unknown effects that were not looked at.
During your first trimester, alcohol avoidance is best, as this is the most critical time for baby's brain development. Later in pregnancy, if you want to sip wine during a special occassion, enjoy a small glass if it suites you. We don't recommend making alcohol consumption a regular thing. Detoxifying alcohol from the body, no matter the amount, requires nutrients that would otherwise go to baby. We want that growing nugget to get all the nutrition they can!