I always rolled my eyes so hard when people acted like I couldn’t do something just because I was pregnant. I’d get looks at the gym. I’d have people go out of their way to help me carry things. While all this help is nice, I was very adamant much of the time, much like a 2-year-old, that I could do it myself, thank you very much. This sort of backfires, by the way, when you’re so capable because then it’s much harder to feign helplessness and get people to make you dinner while you lie on the couch.
Now, I’m rolling my eyes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for recommending that women essentially not drink unless they’re on birth control. Yep: If there’s even the slightest possibility that you might try to get pregnant or are actively trying to get pregnant, you should abstain from alcohol.
I get where they’re coming from. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are entirely preventable. And because there’s no known amount of alcohol that can be deemed safe, it stands to reason that abstaining from alcohol while pregnant is the easiest way to prevent any alcohol-related fetal issues. But not drinking just because there’s a remote possibility that you are going to become pregnant seems to be unnecessarily restrictive.
Say, for example, you’re going to start trying to get pregnant this month. Should you really not have any wine even though you haven’t even ovulated yet? Plus, you never know how long getting pregnant is going to take you. Are you really expected not to live life just because you want to try to conceive? As Jenn said when we were discussing this the other day, “So I wouldn’t have had any alcohol for THREE YEARS when I was trying to get pregnant.”
My rule was always if the pee stick hasn’t turned positive, I’m good to imbibe. If you don’t want to be pregnant, use birth control or contraceptives of some sort. If your birth control fails, and your period is late, sure, take a test and stop the drinking if it’s positive. But there’s enough to worry about during pregnancy. We don’t need to start the stressing about alcohol before a pregnancy is even known.
The whole thing just gives me this vibe of women being this wholesome pure place for a baby to grow. Shouldn’t men stop drinking too so their sperm are the straightest swimming least drunk specimens? No? Let’s not forget too that men are also responsible for the baby-making; it’s also up to them to prevent unwanted pregnancy, too.
So I say, carry on with your normal life. Know your body. If you’re not trying to get pregnant, work with your partner to figure out contraceptives. If you’re trying to get pregnant or think you might be pregnant, take a test. If it’s positive, then you can stop the drinking. Until that exciting pee stick moment … cheers!
Did you stop drinking before you were even pregnant? I will not even justify this question with a response. —Erin