Salon.com ran a fascinating column yesterday regarding pregnancy and alcohol consumption. It notes:
“A study released Tuesday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that tracked 11,500 British children found that the offspring of women who drank ‘lightly’ during pregnancy -- one or two drinks a week -- not only fared no worse in cognitive ability than children of mothers who didn't drink at all, but they actually did slightly better in certain tests.”
Of course, as is the case with so many studies regarding wine consumption, this one comes with a now-standard caveat, noting that Time Magazine pointed out that “The study is likely just a reflection that 'maternal education and income tend to be higher in light drinkers.'"
This is a fascinating area of research, and a personally relevant one, too: During our first visit to the doctor this past spring, he told my then-newly-pregnant wife that a bit of wine would actually be a good thing for her from the fourth month on, noting this new research.
This is not the forum to discuss how we’ve chosen to handle The Wine Question these past several months, but the column does bring up a fascinating question: Is the general American aversion to all alcohol during pregnancy a remnant of older belief systems and science that should be reconsidered in light of new research, or is abstention still the best policy? Either way, as more research seems to imply that very moderate wine consumption is beneficial, it’s an issue we’ll have to grapple with in the coming years.
[Note: The image above is for illustrative purposes only. Though Wine Spectator ran a cover story on this several years ago, this blog post makes no reference to the magazine's coverage specifically.]