Wednesday, December 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Drinking for two

By
From page A2 | July 03, 2012 |

By the time I was visibly pregnant with baby No. 4, I would get a charge out of going to dinner and telling the waiter, “I’m drinking for two now, so I’d like a really big glass of cabernet!” It was a joke, of course, yet it was always fun to see the waiter or other patrons squirm. A pregnancy cheap thrill, I guess you would call it.

But yes, I did enjoy sipping a glass of wine a few times a week while pregnant with my last one. Someone had finally pointed out to me that European women — not to mention our own mothers — never got on the abstinence bandwagon when it came to alcohol during pregnancy and, wow, 11 years later, is my youngest easy to get along with. Come to think of it, I didn’t dwell on my pregnancy with her much at all, but was pretty relaxed about it throughout. (Maybe that’s because of the other three I was running after.)

That’s in contrast to baby No. 1. I spent most of that pregnancy completely hysterical. At month three, I worried I might have inhaled some fumes while filling my gas tank. That made me psychotic for about two weeks. At month six, I ate some meat that might not have been cooked through. I spent a month convinced I’d contracted toxoplasmosis (which, while potentially dangerous, is rarely picked up during pregnancy), and that made the earlier psychosis look mild by comparison. I even stopped coloring my hair for fear of dyes hurting my little guy, so you know I took this stuff seriously.

Boy, I would have benefited from the occasional glass of wine during that pregnancy — but that first time around I was too terrified and wouldn’t have dared. Too bad.

I revisit all this because of a large study just out that says, gasp, “light to moderate drinking (even) early in pregnancy — up to eight drinks a week — has no effect on intelligence, attention or self-control in children at age 5.” That’s according to Time magazine’s report on it.

The study, from Denmark, included 1,600 Danish women and took into account variables like the mother’s intelligence, lifestyle and other health factors. And it queried women while they were pregnant, versus asking them about it later after memories fade. No surprise, really. As Time points out, there is a growing body of evidence that says light to even moderate drinking does not affect a developing baby.

But, an occasional glass of wine might affect the mother and help her lighten up a bit. OK, that’s my own editorial comment there. But guess what? Many obstetricians, including mine at the time, have been slyly telling pregnant moms exactly that even throughout the years of the abstinence craze.

Yes, I know people will still say, “Don’t take a chance; abstain anyway!” To which I answer, fine, do or don’t do as you will. But by that logic, a pregnant woman should refuse to get into a car — always an inherently risky proposition — to go see a movie for a relaxing but unnecessary evening out, too.

Now before I get deluged by readers horrified that I would write a “pro-baby mama and drinking” column, take a chill pill, as my kids would say. That’s not my intent at all. For starters, let’s be clear: There is overwhelming evidence that heavy drinking during pregnancy is dangerous. Come on. No reasonable woman has to be told that when you are pregnant, it’s just the beginning of life thankfully no longer being “all about you.”

Use common sense.

I am pointing out that we live in a culture that increasingly goes to extremes when it comes to controlling our environments and trying to eliminate risk because we are convinced that doing so allows us to control our fates. This despite all evidence to the contrary. Worse, this dangerous tendency now literally starts in the womb.

The recently created but still powerful myth that an occasional drink will irrevocably harm the baby you are carrying is a perfect example of this craze. If debunking that myth helps us to rethink our control issues a little, well, I’ll raise a glass to that.

Betsy Hart’s latest book is “From The Hart: A Collection of Favorite Columns on Love, Loss, Marriage (and Other Extreme Sports).” Reach her through hartmailbox-mycolumn@yahoo.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Menorah on Main begins celebration of Hanukkah

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Haynes, Travis district part company

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 13 Comments

 
Optimist Club welcomes student essays

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Police arrest 5 on DUI allegations

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

Free new home heater warms Solano family

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Crash blocks part of Air Base Parkway

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Police arrest 4 for suspected marijuana sales

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
 
‘Hobbit’ story ends on big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Council delays decision on anti-smoking ordinance

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A8

Police arrest man caught driving stolen car

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A8

 
 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 12, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 14, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Faifield police log: Dec. 12, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Dec. 14, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Quotes from around the world on Pakistan attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
A look at the Pakistani Taliban militant group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Taliban assault on Pakistan school leaves 141 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
State retiree health care gap reaches $72 billion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 4 Comments

Robin Williams tops 2014 list of Google searches

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Ex-Marine wanted in 6 killings commits suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

 
Gay vets can march in Boston St. Patrick’s parade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Cosby won’t be charged over molestation claim

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
End game: No immigration deal, just divisions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Jeb Bush to ‘actively explore’ run for president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 3 Comments

 
Employees arrested for baby theft in Guatemala

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Israel arrests members of Jewish extremist group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Ireland plans May vote on legalizing gay marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Sydney siege victims lauded for courage, kindness

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Horror over deadly Sydney siege turns to anger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Aussie leader: System failed to track siege gunman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Islamic State recruits broadly, not just fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah begins

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Filipino mayor expresses support for Guam statue

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Opinion

 
LA looks to election shift to boost turnout

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
What is Hanukkah’s significance?

By The Rev. Dan Molyneux | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
My teenage daughter seems to be cutting me out of her life

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

A chocolatey rich coconut cream pie for Christmas

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B7

 
Go Italian this Christmas with lobster manicotti

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Dressing up a simple hash for Christmas brunch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Letterman pulls curtain on holiday tradition

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

Green Day, Reed, Starr into rock hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Fixes planned for clinic that treated Joan Rivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Some Raiders players want Sparano in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Fairfield grad Bishop signs with 49ers

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Memphis stops Golden State’s 16-game win streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Chris Borland’s rookie 49ers season likely over

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bills deliver Lions pizza, wings for hospitality

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
1998 World Cup winner Thierry Henry retires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

USOC decides to bid for 2024; city still undecided

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
College football playoff participants stack AP All-America team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Yankees GM Cashman: A-Rod now a full-time DH

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship after 2016 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders place LB Sio Moore on IR

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots regain top spot in AP Pro32 rankings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Rodriguez girls finally get win over Monte Vista

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Panthers outlast Capitals in longest NHL shootout, 20 rounds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP sources: NFL employees turn over phone, email records

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

California home prices cool in November on sluggish sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
T-Mobile to let customers carry over unused data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Apple wins class-action lawsuit over iPod prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Obama backs bill imposing new sanctions on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9, 5 Comments

Sony hackers reference 9/11 in new threats against theaters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Russian ruble sinks sharply despite bank rate hike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Apple stops sales in Russia, citing unstable ruble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

James Nelson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Collie Joseph Blossom

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Calvin B. Shin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6