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Everybody Calm Down, Drinking When You're Pregnant Is Just Fine

Illustration for article titled Everybody Calm Down, Drinking When Youre Pregnant Is Just Fine

According to new research from (duh) Europe, pregnant women who cave to the siren's call of a glass of wine or four don't necessarily put their future babies at risk for cognitive problems, at least early in life. Unfortunately, a distended pregnant abdomen may make it difficult for others to take body shots off of your midsection. Life's so unfair to ladies.

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The Danish study, published in the journal BJOG: International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, followed the pregnancy behavior of more than 1,600 pregnant women and found that mommies-in-waiting could drink up to 8 alcoholic beverages per week during early and mid-pregnancy without fucking up their child. Heavier drinking seemed to negatively affect children by age 5, but since a very small number of mothers in the study drank that much during pregnancy, researchers weren't able to say conclusively whether or not alcohol was the culprit of the children's cognitive difficulties.

If you're worried that researchers asked pregnant women to drink alcohol while they were gestating, and you're concerned about the ethical implications of that sort of research, calm down, nerds. Mothers were surveyed near the midpoint of their pregnancy about alcohol use that had already occurred, and most of the women who had drank did so very early in their pregnancies, possibly without knowing that they were pregnant.

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Even though the study showed that light drinking during pregnancy is safe, doctors warned women that they should, uh, not take the study as evidence that light drinking during pregnancy is safe. The safest way to be pregnant is to not do anything that could possibly endanger your child, explain researchers. And until pregnancy camps exist, concerned non-pregnant onlookers have a civic duty to inform every pregnant woman they see what, exactly, they're doing wrong.

[MedPage Today]

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DISCUSSION

When we adopted a cat a few years ago, my then-boss's first reaction was, "Why? You'll just have to get rid of him when you get pregnant." What?! Insane. I had no idea what she was talking about. Then I did some research and confirmed that she was, in fact, insane. Basically, pregnancy is a 9-month vacation from litter box duty (sorry babe), but provided you're not actually handling cat feces, you're good. And the risk is super low if it's an indoor cat because they aren't killing and eating mice (usually). So the avoiding-the-litter-box rule is generally just a precaution to be on the safe side. Whereas abandoning the cat you adopted, and presumably care for, is just shitty.

It's like everyone knows 3% of the stuff you can know about pregnancy or childbirth, and they walk around scary the shit out of everyone with their half-baked bullshit. A little common sense would be nice — you are not obligated to shut yourself up in a yurt eating organic food and listening to Motzart for the duration of your pregnancy. Also, life is inherently full of risks for all people, not just the pregnant ones. So just chill.