Here's the whole story, but in a nutshell, this is what I said:
Pregnant women who spoke to the Herald on Sunday were divided on the issue.
Journalist Kimberley Rothwell, 34, said morning sickness meant alcohol was the
last thing on her mind for the first three months. Now, at 22 weeks, she has an
occasional glass of white wine.
"I know women who have had the odd drink
during pregnancy and have had perfectly healthy babies, so I'm not going to
freak out about a splash of wine here and there."
"I would be angry if a bar
worker told me I couldn't have a light beer. It's none of his business."
I can count on one hand the half glasses of wine I've had, with meals, in the last few months. They have always been a little celebration for me - a kir at Logan Brown, a splash in Noosa, a dribble with fish and chips on moving out of Moffitt Street. I've never been a big drinker - possibly haven't been drunk in years - the last time I was tipsy was at the Qantas Awards the week before I found out I was pregnant, and was told not to worry about all the champagne, oysters, mussels and other dangerous goodies I quaffed that night.
And yet, I'm "disgusting" and "idiotic" according to a letter writer to the Herald, which my friend Julie forwarded me this morning. The writer says that if women can't control themselves for nine months they have to ask themselves what kind of mothers they will be, and that women claiming the right to choose if they drink or not is "bullshit".
I think the letter writer has a point, and I've often thought things like 'I don't need that piece of blue cheese, and if it's a risk of listeria I'll stay away from it'. But what are the risks here? This is from Babycenter.com:
Drinking endangers your growing baby in a number of ways: It increases the
risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. As little as one drink a day can
the odds for low birth weight and raise your child's risk for
problems with learning, speech, attention span, language, and hyperactivity.
some research has shown that expectant moms who have as little as one
week are more likely than nondrinkers to have children who later
aggressive and delinquent behavior.
Ok, but I'm not talking about a drink a day, or a week. I'm not even talking about a drink a fortnight. And how big are these risks? One in ten? One in a hundred? The letter writer says that drinking while pregnant should be illegal, that women should provide as pure an environment for their unborn children as possible. So should wearing high heels while pregnant be illegal, because you may fall and miscarry? Should driving or being near roads be illegal? Should smoking while pregnant be illegal? Should not eating properly during pregnancy be illegal? Should pregnant women forfeit rights to their own bodies, and stay locked up away from any risks in the name of a pure environment? If anything, I should be hauled over the coals for the amount of sugar I've been consuming, not alcohol.
And in the end, isn't it me as the child's parent who has to bear the consequences of anything that happens to my child?
I'm going to be a great mother - my kid's going to be a great kid, and will have the most important things of all; love, love, and love. Cheers to that.
PS I would be really interested to hear what others think on this subject - feel free to comment ...