How Much Alcohol Can A Pregnant Woman Drink?

How Much Alcohol Can A Pregnant Woman Drink?

I’ll have a shot of whiskey, a gin & tonic,
and a home pregnancy test – to go, please. Hey guys, Tara here for Dnews – and you know
who has it the worst? Pregnant women. They can’t have caffeine, they can’t smoke, and
they definitely can’t drink alcohol – though that doesn’t always stop everyone. According to the CDC, 1 in 13 women admit
to drinking while pregnant, and 1 in 70 women admit to binge drinking. Some states, including
Alaska, which has the highest rate of fetal alcohol syndrome in the country – have even
resorted to administering free pregnancy tests at bars, in order to raise awareness about
the disease. But what is fetal alcohol syndrome? And is
it a guaranteed thing if you drink while pregnant? Well, not really. We’ve known since the late
60s that alcohol can cause birth defects. When a pregnant woman drinks, the alcohol
passes through the placenta to the fetus, and gets into your baby’s bloodstream. The
problem is that babies metabolize alcohol way slower than adults do – so 1 drink to
you is like 4 drinks to them. Now 4 drinks probably won’t harm you – but in fetuses,
it interferes with the delivery of oxygen and nutrition they need in order to keep growing.
That’s why exposure to alcohol – especially in excessive amounts – can disrupts your baby’s
development, causing growth problems and brain damage. Physically, it has very characteristic effects.
Children with FAS typically have microcephaly, which is a smaller than normal head; as well
as eyes that are smaller, and more far apart, than normal. Now you’re probably wondering, why do women
continue to drink during pregnancy, even when they know it’s bad for their baby? There are a couple reasons. For one, most
women don’t even know they’re pregnant, until they’re at least a month in. And research
shows that alcohol is the most harmful to fetuses during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
So there’s a good chance many of the women whose children have FAS, didn’t even know
they were doing them harm. Now you could argue that if you found out you were pregnant, and
knew you’d been drinking heavily during that time, you could always abort. But it’s unrealistic
to expect everyone to take that option. Another potential cause of FAS, is plain and
simple alcoholism. It’s a disease, and a devastating one that can take over our rational brain
and make us do things that we know are bad. But how bad is bad? And how much alcohol would
it take to cause something like fetal alcohol syndrome? Think of like a spectrum. On the one end,
having 1 drink per day or less, has really not been associated with any risk of FAS.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have children with full-on FAS, whose mothers typically
consumed 8 – 10 drinks per day. In the middle, women who have 4-6 drinks per day, typically
produce children with mild FAS. But even 1-2 drinks per day, substantially increases the
odds of stunting your child’s growth. Which is why public health experts recommend
the “better safe than sorry” approach. No alcohol, no worries. What do you think? One drink won’t kill your
unborn baby, but is the 30-minute buzz you get really worth the constant worrying? Leave
your thoughts in the comments below – and as always, thank you guys for watching.

100 thoughts on “How Much Alcohol Can A Pregnant Woman Drink?”

  1. Alaska… Of course they drink like fish, it's former Russian territory, which was rented out to America for a 99 year period, which btw has already passed. So they drink like Russians, damaging the American nation :(((

  2. SquareX OTriangle

    not that she she would, but If my girlfriend fell pregnant, I wouldn't let her drink.. I'd probably stop drinking as well just so she didn't get jelly.. :p hahaha! 

  3. IT IS NOT A DISEASE. IT IS AN ADDICTION, THAT STARTED AS A WEAKNESS AND ISSUE OF SELF CONTROL. A disease is passed and my alcoholic uncle didn't get it from his mom, nor his father.

  4. Unlike males, that produce sperm all the time, female eggs are already formed after birth and stay in the ovaries, that at the age of 12-14 start releasing one at a time each month. Alcohol harms the eggs, and you'll never know which egg was damaged, that egg might be the one to become a baby, and it will be a really painful scar on your life. Don't mess with Alcohol, it's a dangerous drug.

  5. I am interested in why you called alcoholism a "disease". What characterizes an addiction/habit to be a disease instead of say a mental illness? I am curious about the terminology and its uses.

  6. I agree with Trevor – I think 1 alcoholic drink a day is excessive – I'd be more like 1 alcoholic drink a month, if that. So you're saying that would be ok even in pregnancy? Not just for preventing FAS but any other health related issues with regards to alcohol and foetuses. Btw I'm not pregnant.

  7. i dont see a big problem with quitting the alcohol for about a year.. and people that cant stop are obviously having a bigger problem than this

  8. I would think a tasting of wine a few times a week would keep the edge off.  Are there any studies on how the relative happiness of the mother correlates to a newborn's health?

  9. Drinking is great and all but if your pregnant just live without it for 8 months. If you really feel that you cannot live without it for 8 months then that in itself is a problem and enough reason to not drink. You shouldn't be mastered by anything

  10. Kamizushi Akinari

    On a related note, I always find it weird when scientists characterize 1 to 3 drinks a day as moderate alcohol consumption. I only speak for myself and I realize we aren't all the same, but after 3 drinks I'm personally pretty drunk. I couldn't imagine doing it everyday.

  11. Psychedelic Kitten

    Wait… You can't have caffeine when you're pregnant? O.O Well I'm fucked in a few years then cause I can't even go 2 hours without my cherry coke let alone 9 months 🙁

  12. Implementing a little cannabis into your daily regimen can provide great benefits for your developing child. It can potentially improve your own immune health, brain and nervous system as it has an anxiolytic effect.

  13. hell even children are introduced to whine while young. they mix it with water as the child gets older less water is added.

  14. well why not see what happens to animals babies after there moms booze then the whole planet will be full of dumb shits this is not ok drinking is poison and evil sorry to sound ignorant i'm just saying simple fact is some people have no moderation 

  15. The things you say that pregnant women can't have are really things they shouldn't have. They can have all of the things you mention but there may be terrible consequences.

  16. 1 drink while pregnant is like giving the fetus 4 drinks? But if you actually put alcohol in a babies bottle you'd be charged with child abuse. How about 0 drinks.

  17. Military Money Man

    wanna read a story about one of the dumbest people in the world? ok then prepare to read about my sister (this happened like 2 years ago i think, my sister was i think 24 at the time and pregnant, and living with my mother, i visited them and caught her smoking that fake pot "spice" and drinking a beer, after taking both from her she decided to argue with me saying "smoking reduces the babies stress, and beer relaxes it"…. she even said her doctor told her that (side note i already know about how quitting cold turkey on things like alcohol if you are highly addicted can harm the baby, dont reply saying how she is right because she took it way out of context and wanted to just do it for fun)…. sadly i havent seen my niece since she was 2 weeks old, and even then i didnt get a good look at her. friends of the family ask me if she has autism or down syndrome, etc etc… that selfish bitch destroyed that childs life, and i cant forgive her for it 

  18. That's cool that Alaska bars are raising awareness about the disease of pregnancy.  Although parasite might describe it better than "disease"

  19. TheLittlePurpleFairy

    I was in a taxi queue once and overheard a group of totally drunk woman talking about one of them being pregnant.  They claimed it was a good idea to drink when pregnant because it would  make giving birth easier, by means of smaller baby head.  I wanted to think they where joking, but no sense of that.  This was in a well educated area…..

  20. I'm all for mandatory sterilization or chemical castration, but for everyone. Men and women or whomever wants a kid should have to apply like getting a drivers license except way more stringent. Have proof of income, no criminal record or history of addiction etc. Just saying once that kid comes out there is no revoking it or putting it back in. If parents fail it's society's problem now.

  21. I noticed the stats are in terms of drinks per day. What about the occasional weekend binge? Like a night out on Friday but you drink 15 drinks all in one night. How does the occasional binge factor into FAS?

  22. So paranoid with drinking now ._. one weekend by the campfire a month into your unknown pregnancy could mess your child up for life. 

  23. My mom quit smoking on the day when she found out she was pregnant, and at that point she had been smoking for 5 years. Why would anyone want to risk their child being born retarded?

  24. As a pharmacist, I am strongly against drinking in pregnancy. You really want to risk your child's quality of life for the rest of his/her life just so you can get your fix? You have a right to excercise control over your body, but when you decide to have a child, you have a responsibility to that child.

  25. Katarina Bergqwist

    I think it's really stupid to drink anything at all while pregnant. Also I think it's really not empathetic of the other parent to drink while hir partner is pregnant.

  26. You have got to love how Europeans manage to have a drink or two while pregnant but do not have these massive FAS problems as North Americans. Yes you can have a drink or two while pregnant, don't let anyone fool you that you can not. The problem is people having to many drinks. The more you have the less restraint you will have. I don't know why the USA stays its course in pure absidence from everything it finds 'not right'. Instead it should find ways to incorporate what people are doing into ways that is acceptable. Do drink, but in moderation.

  27. She should have mentioned that the physical defects are the ONLY way to diagnose FAS, so when she says one drink a day causes no FAS what she she means is no obvious physical traits that are associated with it. So while one drink a day may very well not cause any outward FAS there is no way to know if it has or hasn't done slight damage to the infant's brain.

  28. I know I am going to piss some people off, especially the purest. With that being said…. I totally agree with what she is said.  If you binge drink or drink every day=unhealthy baby.
    But…. I have now had 6 pregnancies. I would enjoy an occasional glass of wine or a beer, After 6 month of being pregnant. All kids were 9+ pounds, healthy full term babies. except for the twins , because they are twins. But together they were 9+ pounds lol. Anyways, I know it is different for everyone. But My Irish Genes soak it all up. It massively helps with Pelvic Girdle Pain.
    Again, I am not saying go out to the club and throw back shots, or a case of beer. But a glass of wine after 6 months , with a low risk pregnancy never did anything to my kids. They are healthy , and smart and perfect. Until they take over this horrible planet MUHAHAHAHAHAH!

  29. Amber Jade Owens Hughes

    This video title is horrible. NO. A woman can not drink while pregnant. Do you realize how much harm you are causing to that baby? Even if you drank half a glass a day, that alcohol is still going into the baby's body. What's the legal drinking age!?! 19 where I am! I just can't believe that you would have any drinks while you're pregnant. That is extremely selfish. Even if it doesn't cause your baby any harm- it still has a chance of causing your baby to have a life of special needs. My brother was adopted at the age of 1. His birth mother drank but when she found out she was pregnant, she stopped then later on had a relapse. Even though she didn't drink as much as some people, my brother has a life of struggling all because she was selfish. My brother could not be successful in academics because of how much his brain has been affected. I just want to say something to all you soon to be mothers out there. Do not be selfish. And if you are an alcoholic, get help. Go see someone who can help you! The same goes for drug use while you are pregnant! Fetal alcohol syndrome is devastating, and it could all go away if people would stop being so selfish.
    Sincerely, a sister of a kid with fetal alcohol syndrome.

  30. Um my step mom is pregnant (1Week) and she drinks… I don't want it to die/birth defects!!! but she does have a spoonful of wine with water… what will happen??!

  31. alcohol is bad for a baby any day, what i think for a lovable, caring, husband should also avoid alcohol during d pregnancy period to support his better half…coz they r in this together !!! dis is d most respectful & caring gift anyone can ever give to eachother….love is all v hav & got….god bless every couple 😇

  32. For those of us who don't consume alcohol, it's a non-issue and the idea of "fixing" the first bad decision of drinking by making another bad decision of aborting is just horrible.

  33. I'm a product of a alcoholic birth mom I have FAS. It causes so much problems. ADHD panic disorder depression. Epilepsy , scoliosis. School was hell.
    I don't had a diploma I have a certificate. I have a job one day a week cleaning at a store. It'll probably be my job for life. My birth mom damaged me. I have brain damage. It's not my fault it's hers. You can say alohalism is a illness but it doesn't seem like it to a kid who suffers for it. I'm more likely to become a alcoholic then anyone. All because someone had to drink thinking only of themselves and not they're baby.
    My dream was to be a vet tech. Not gonna happen. I can't do it I can't finish the high school math. I just can't no matter how many tutors you get. I wanna work with animals. But I'm not sure I'll be able to.
    It's not my fault I'm not a failure. It took me a while to figure that out.
    Don't drink while your pregnant.

  34. Sandun Madushanka gayashan

    I've been researching into quitting alcohol and found an awesome website at Adoette drink plan (google it if you are interested)

  35. Foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is subsepc of a broader category of conditions called foetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD). Everyone knows about FAS – the gross facial abnormalities, Musculoskeletal problems ect. But people don't usually discuss FASD where the child might look normal but will grow up to have cognitive impairment – poor impulse control, judgement, and attention, lack of social and communication skills, visual spatial defects, trouble with math and reading ect. FASD manifests with just as little as 1 drink a week. The growing foetus has many as 40,000 synaptic connections in the third trimester. And what are the chances that your foetus will get FASD if you drink? 1 in 2 aka 50 %. The studies that have been done so far which show that alcohol is okay during pregnancy mostly look at FAS or at children upto 5 years of age. When would FASD manifest? once the child starts going to school! I drink myself so believe me when I say that I am not against drinking in moderation but drinking while pregnant can cause serious harm to the foetus and I would advise anyone thinking of the above to abstain

  36. Viktoria Van Eycke

    my friend is supplying alochol to her future pregnant sister in law. she claims it wont hurt the baby. plus she drinking caffeinated beverage too.

  37. My wonder is, why take the chance?? There are so many people whose children are born with unfortunate syndromes without the mothers even consuming a SINGLE DROP of alcohol. I think it's selfish and inconsiderate. If you're willing to be pregnant, why take a chance with the living being inside of you?

  38. Okay. So I had to drink wine while I was pregnant with my son due to a lack of nutrients that I needed and wasn't absorbing properly using regular foods and vitamins. The doctor approved it, and i only drank a half a cup (measured out using a measuring cup) and it was only 3 times a week. This was after 5 months of already being pregnant though. My son was born happy and healthy with no jaundice, birth defects, or FAS. Obviously don't drink tequila or heavy alcohol while pregnant but a little wine after you hit the five month mark shouldn't hurt the baby. It's all about moderation

  39. I have a learning disabilitie but I'm not retarded I just learn differently lol more hands on then math or history person so anyways my mom didn't know she was pregnant until she was 5 months in he belly never showed she plays pool even Tuesday and she drink shots and beer like I mean I'm perfectly fine expect for my scoliosis and learning disability

  40. I was drinking while pregnant but I never knew I was pregnant but every time I drink I vomit it back out will it still affect my baby

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