How Much Can You Safely Drink While Pregnant?

downloadFor decades, the message from the medical community has been clear: Alcohol and pregnancy do not mix. But if you love a glass of merlot with dinner or an IPA after work, questions arise. What about a glass of wine here and there? Or half of a beer? Does a celebratory sip of champagne really count?

Despite near-constant warnings from organizations such as the CDC, U.S. Surgeon General, andAmerican Academy of Pediatrics—not to mention a vast library of research on the harmful effects of alcohol useduring pregnancy—many women still partake. According to 2013 data from the CDC, one in 10 pregnant women reported having a drink in the past 30 days, while one in 33 even reported binge drinking.

Plus, some research has suggested that a little alcohol is OK: One Danish study published in 2012 found that low to moderate consumption of alcohol throughout pregnancy had no measurable effect on the babies in question when they were tested five years later.

And a 2013 study found that light drinking during the first trimester had no impact on the behavior and development of over 10,000 7-year-olds. So is it really that bad?

The Bottom Line

 

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