The dangers of alcohol and pregnancy are an increased risk of miscarriage, FAS (mental and physical abnormalities in your baby), preterm birth or your baby is very small at birth. These dangers are often cited with the message that you do not drink alcohol during your pregnancy. Even moderate use could already have consequences.
The result is that many women are afraid that they have done something to their child because they have drunk something. And that while there is no concrete evidence that a few glasses a week can really have that much effect. The question then is: are the dangers of alcohol and pregnancy not a bit exaggerated?
No alcohol during pregnancy
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) indicated this week in The Guardian that the official opinion of the British government to drink no alcohol during pregnancy is exaggerated.
For January 2016, the advice was still that pregnant women were allowed to drink 1 or 2 glasses of alcohol a week without any danger. But now these glasses are set to 0. This also applies to the recommendations of the Health Council in the Netherlands.
Pregnant women are frightened
Since 2016, alcohol has been put in the dark and we have to walk around it all with a big loop. It goes so far that they now also advise not to drink alcohol before you are actually pregnant. The result is that women become anxious and do not feel comfortable with social matters. They immediately feel guilty when they have one sip of wine.
We must pay attention to how we communicate the dangers of alcohol and pregnancy to pregnant women.
In England it goes so far that there have been pregnant women who prematurely terminated their desired pregnancy for fear of abnormalities of the baby because they have drunk (a lot of) alcohol.
How big are the dangers of alcohol and pregnancy actually?
If we have to believe the information campaign, it almost seems like we are already running big risks of drinking that one glass of champagne to celebrate something. But it seems that this guilt is not entirely justified. In a study conducted in England last year, there was no concrete evidence showing that moderate alcohol consumption causes harm to your unborn baby.
Sometimes drink 1 glass of alcohol or not?
Researchers contradict each other. But in principle, this is the case with many issues related to nutrition and health.
If you want to be 100% sure that you do not do anything to cause damage to your baby, it is best not to drink alcohol. But that does not mean that a few glasses have immediate consequences.
What do you think? No alcohol or occasionally 1 glass of alcohol during pregnancy and do you also find the dangers of alcohol and pregnancy exaggerated?