Pregnant women keep on drinking and smoking

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Alcohol & Drugs

A new study out of Australia indicates that nearly half of all pregnant women kept on drinking during their pregnancy. One in five continued smoking while pregnant. A smaller but still significant five percent and two percent still smoked marijuana and used harder drugs, respectively. Women who are older, wealthier, and more educated are the worst culprits, it seems. "Women are having babies later in life when, it seems, it's harder for them to stop drinking," said lead researcher Cate Wallace.

Australian guidelines recommend pregnant women consume fewer than seven standard drinks a week and no more than two drinks a day but are currently under review. Here in the US, total abstinence is the going recommendation. "The problem is we know high levels are very harmful but we don't know how little alcohol is too much," Ms Wallace said. "It's safest to stop drinking altogether ... but clearly women aren't doing that."

I've said it before -- even if there is the teeniest, tiniest chance that one's baby could be harmed, why wouldn't one stop drinking during pregnancy? What is so important about alcohol that it's not worth giving up to avoid any chance of a problem?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.