Wine and pregnancy are a complicated duo, indeed. On one hand, you might be thinking, what's the harm in one glass of wine during pregnancy? But on the other hand, you might be wondering if there are some serious risks involved.
So, if you wondering what is the answer to the age-old question, can pregnant women drink wine question? No biggie! We dive deep into this topic and, with the help of two dietitians, answer all your burning questions about drinking while pregnant.
Despite the varying information out there, the safest and most universal answer to this question is that no amount of alcohol has been deemed safe during pregnancy, says registered Dietitian Mia Syn, MS, RDN. "The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Pregnancy Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics all note that no amount of wine during pregnancy is deemed safe and that consuming wine while pregnant should be avoided."
That means even a small glass of wine exposes the baby to alcohol, which Syn says can be harmful. "Study after study suggests that any alcohol use during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)," she adds.
There is also an increased risk that your unborn baby will develop fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) if you drink alcohol during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is a group of disorders associated with a variety of symptoms, including low birth weight, learning disabilities, and impaired executive functioning.
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a form of FASD that occurs in an unborn baby who was exposed to alcohol before birth, according to the National Institutes of Health, and is associated with brain damage and growth problems.
Unfortunately, there is no known safe way to consume alcohol during pregnancy, so it's best to avoid it altogether, says Syn. "All types of alcohol (including all wines and beer) are equally harmful, and drinking while pregnant can increase your unborn baby's risk for birth defects and FASDs."
However, there are plenty of great non-alcoholic wines if you enjoy the social aspect of wine drinking.
"Non-alcoholic wines like Fre are a great option for anyone pregnant," suggests registered dietitian Alyssa Pacheo, RD. "There are white, red, and sparkling varieties to choose from that are packed with flavor," she says.
We can't say it enough: alcohol consumption during pregnancy at any stage (even early in pregnancy) is a huge no-no. However, there are great non-alcoholic alternatives for pregnant women to enjoy in place of wine, and here are some mouth-watering ideas that'll have your tastebuds jumping for joy.
An occasional glass of wine may sound tempting, but when it comes to pregnancy, it's always better to be safe than sorry. "There is no amount of alcohol that's considered safe when pregnant," says Pacheo. "The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists even points out that even moderate alcohol consumption (one glass a day) can pose a health risk to an unborn baby, so wine is best avoided during pregnancy."
Cooking with wine can be a fun and flavorful experience, but if you're expecting, you may be wondering if it's safe for your baby. Thankfully, the safety risk is minimal because cooking wines contain very small amounts of alcohol and less, according to Pacheo.
"Using wine in your cooking is considered safe since the alcohol content of the wine is drastically reduced or eliminated during the cooking process," she tells Today's Parent.
You know what they always say: accidents are bound to happen in life. So, don't be too hard on yourself if you accidentally drink wine without knowing you're pregnant, says Pacheo. "If you drank wine without knowing you were pregnant, serious harm to the baby is unlikely, " she explains. "If, however, you have concerns, be sure to talk to your doctor."
Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners