Alcohol in Pregnancy – Pressure to have just One?

Alcohol is not recommended in pregnancy. The Department of Health recommend from abstaining as there really is no clear cut evidence to suggest even small amounts are okay

Saying this we are all adults and we can make our own decisions about having a little to drink when pregnant. It is another one of those things that is probably going to divide; everyone is different.

I have heard about girls feeling extremely uncomfortable when out in public, pregnant and having a little tipple. I have heard about some places refusing to serve a pregnant lady. I have heard about friends getting scathing comments if choosing to drink when pregnant.

What I didn’t expect was my friend to visit me recently and complain about feeling pressured to drink! Feeling pushed towards consuming alcohol when pregnant. This wasn’t a lone event either; her friend had experienced the same thing.

Oh go on….just one won’t hurt?

Don’t be so bloody silly, it’s only one glass.

These comments were made and both girls in question felt very uncomfortable. My friend had made a conscious decision she was not drinking during her pregnancy. Usually being a bit of an all of nothing type of girl; 125mls of a weak wine wouldn’t really hit the spot. I on the other hand had a few little drinks, as tend to not drink a lot normally. I however, never felt any pressure to drink.

One could argue its a generation thing. I was told by an older work colleague that she drank throughout her pregnancy and all the children were fine; there just wasn’t the information and worry back then.

Things change however and science moves on.

Alcohol is often the focus of social occasions, meals out, nights out, holidays and generally getting together. I’m not assuming you reading this drink (don’t worry) but for the person who enjoys a drink, it can make them feel very weird and often uncomfortable when there is someone in the party who is tee total. Pregnant or not. How can you even have a good time without alcohol? My husband has faced this on work drinks when he has ordered a Coke. Some people do seem to think you are abnormal for not drinking and it can make for a miserable time if you have to explain yourself time after time.

I think deep down we all know it’s not good for us generally but if everyone is doing it….surely that means it’s ok? We are all in it together.  If you are out with another pregnant lady who is drinking, it does make it easier to have one too. If you are with some who is vehemently refusing and preaching the risks to their baby, it can make you feel guilty and even get your back up.

I must admit I do find it hard to understand the mentality of someone encouraging a pregnant woman to have a drink. It’s their choice and there is a massive reason to refuse.

I decided to consult the masses and ask for a few opinions from my fellow bloggers.

I was surprised.

This is a lot more common than I thought.

“No I didn’t feel pressured. In fact quite the opposite. I always had a small glass of wine if we were out having a meal or for something special. I was in a restaurant in London and they wouldn’t serve me one because I was pregnant. Needless to say I had a word with the manager.” Kerry from Kerry Louise Norris.

“Always! By one friend in particular! She apparently saw no harm in me ‘having half a bottle of wine’ with her. Needless to say I didn’t. I personally didn’t drink a drop throughout the whole pregnancy, I didn’t want to chance anything as it took us 5 years to get our happy ending.” Jo from Miracle Max.

I had it a fair bit, mainly from friends that had had a drink while pregnant themselves. I wouldn’t mind so much but it was the same friends that looked aghast when I told them I had a dippy egg!” Erica from The Incidental Parent.

“I was 20 weeks pregnant at my sister’s wedding in December. I kept being told that one won’t hurt!! I didn’t have one though as I rarely drink anyway. I think it can go either way.. there’s the ones who say “oh go on… one won’t hurt” …. then there’s the ones who would tut and turn their noses up if you did!” Lucie from Our World and Autism.

“I was advised by older family members to have Guinness as it was good for me! I had to say many many times I wasn’t interested. I’m thinking it’s a generational thing and attitudes and advice have changed a lot since!” Beth from Twinderelmo.

“I only felt pressured from my mum, who drank too much during pregnancy and as I turned out okay thinks it’s fine. It’s very uncomfortable when it’s family.” Nadia from Scandimummy.

“Yes my friends boyfriend had died just before I got pregnant and she was having drinks on his birthday when I was 8 months pregnant and I ended up having a glass of lambrini so not loads but still more than I wanted. ” Jen from Just Average Jen.

“Thankfully, I didn’t receive any pressure to drink! My Dad did bring round a bottle of champagne when we told them our news (he had guessed it was coming and had it waiting in the car outside!) and I think he thought I would have a glass but he wasn’t offended when I declined. Each to their own, I suppose, but I think it’s appalling to put pressure on a pregnant lady to drink if she doesn’t want to. Weird!” Holly from Little Pickle’s Mom.

“Yes, and especially by my mother and her mother! In their generation, the doctors believed it was okay to have one or two, for iron and whatnot, however research exists for a reason. Obviously, I did say no, and had non-alcoholic wine instead, but I found they got really difficult around Christmas and New Year and we had the “well are you saying I am a bad mum?!” conversation waaaay too many times :’) ” Fern from Mum Conventional.

“For me, it started happening towards the end of the pregnancy. “You can have just the one or two towards the end!” “Go on!” “It’ll help you relax!” I wouldn’t ever judge those who do have one drink! I think that’s everyone’s personal choice. But I can take or leave the taste of alcohol and tend to drink when it’s a “few,” with friends. So if it’s only the one, I’m not bothered at all and I’ll stick with the alcohol free wine, thanks!” Stacey from One Small Human.

“I waited 7 years for my daughter. On the occasion it was suggested I point blank refused. I’m not one for peer pressure but people shouldn’t try and pressure anyone to drink, pregnant or not.” Katy from Katy Kicker.

Writing this post surprised me.

I had always expected more judgement for ladies who did drink during pregnancy not pressure to have one! Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time when there are so many mixed messages about what is right and what is wrong. You feel tired, hormonal and quite scared about what is coming. Adding extra pressures in about alcohol is just not on.

How about you? Can you relate to this post?

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