Listen: It’s totally normal to want a glass of wine after a long day at work—yes, even (or, honestly, especially) when you’re pregnant.
And many people—pregnant or not—still think it’s totally fine to have a drink while expecting.
That’s according to a new survey, 35 percent said that’s it’s okay to drink wine on occasion when you’re pregnant. The other 65 percent said you definitely shouldn’t do this.
So…which group is correct? Some very preliminary research suggests that low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy might not be linked to bad health for baby—and many women get mixed messages from the media and even their doctors since it’s tough to say how much booze during pregnancy is too much.
But it’s important to keep in mind that Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies—along with most medical organizations say you should totally skip the booze while expecting.
“A safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy has not been determined,” confirms Greves. “That’s why we recommend complete abstinence.”
And sorry, but the theory drinking at the very end of your pregnancy (you know, because the baby is already “cooked”) hasn’t been proven as legit. “Alcohol impacts fetal growth at all stages of pregnancy,” says Greves, who notes that it comes with some pretty scary potential consequences, including fetal alcohol syndrome (a condition that causes brain damage and growth problems due to alcohol exposure during pregnancy), structural issues with the baby’s body, and even issues with the baby’s heart, kidneys, or bones.
Women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., agrees. “The latest research tells us that the safest choice is not drinking anything during your pregnancy,” she says.
So, uh, if you want to drink during your pregnancy, maybe just don’t. You’ll be able to kick back with a guilt-free glass of wine after your baby has left the premises.
The bottom line: Drinking during pregnancy definitely hasn’t been proven to be safe for baby, so it’s best not to risk it.