When it comes to pregnancy and alcohol, I’m in the total and complete abstinence category. For me, the risk of anything happening to my unborn child just isn’t worth the bit of satisfaction I would get from a drink. It actually works out pretty well for me because I’ve never quite recovered from my red wine aversion from my first pregnancy.
While consuming alcohol is discouraged because of the risks of birth defects and fetal alcohol syndrome—and the fact that it’s not known exactly how much alcohol is safe, if any—there are women who take a more laid-back approach. Some women will enjoy a glass of wine here and there or some beer. Some studies even say that drinking a small amount of alcohol isn’t harmful.
So what would you do if you saw a pregnant woman with a beer? Would you say something? I recently came across a social experiment that made me stop to think about these questions. A woman made to look pregnant was walking around with a beer at a state fair. Turns out, most people didn’t say anything to her and minded their own business.
Organizers of the experiment seem to think strangers should approach women in situations like this, but I’m not so sure. If it was a friend of mine? Sure, I’d pipe up. But a random pregnant stranger? First of all, there’s the whole rule about NEVER asking if a woman is pregnant because there is the real possibility that she’s actually not. There’s also the fact that the drink might not be hers. I earned some funny looks but no comments when I fetched a beer for my husband at a beer garden when I was noticeably pregnant. I would have probably punched anyone who had said something to me. Then there’s the possibility that it’s a non-alcoholic beverage. And taking a sip is entirely different than chugging a drink. Personally, I would stay out of it unless it was a really extreme situation. What about you?
Can’t see the poll? Click here to tell us what you’d do if you saw a pregnant woman drinking alcohol.
Do you abstain from alcohol when pregnant? Would you say something to a friend or a stranger who was drinking while pregnant? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic!—Erin