Could More Wine During Pregnancy Mean Less Whining Later?
Drinking moderately during pregnancy produces "better behaved" kids, study says
It may just be the large glass of chardonnay in my hand, but these kinds of stories make me happy. A massive study from Denmark where researchers tracked 100,000 mothers found that those who drank moderately during pregnancy had “better behaved” children. With my fourth child on the way all I can think of is what a win, baby, win!
Not that I plan on glugging down the vino any time soon, but when you get the green light on something that might have made you nervous in the past—Is there any way my baby is going to have problems because of something I want to do, gulp, for myself?—it’s such a relief. Yes, I’ve had a few glasses of wine and even beer here and there throughout my pregnancies and yes, I do think our kids are pretty well behaved. But they’re only 4, 2 and 1-year-old, so the jury’s still out on this particular group. That’s why I was so pleased to see another study pointing to the same thing.
A similar finding came out of an Australian study from 2010 where researchers found that moderate drinking during the first stages of pregnancy tended to demonstrate “more positive” behavior in kids than those whose mothers t-totalled it through pregnancy. And it’s worth noting that by “moderate” they mean quite a bit: two to six drinks per week or one per day.
While this may be news to Americans (Australians and the Danes), the Italians seem to have caught on to this concept long ago. I was pregnant three times in Italy so you can imagine the opportunities to drink wine there. In fact, waiters in Italian restaurants routinely poured a full glass for me, despite my protests. Even my doctor seemed surprised when I’d ask about having a glass now and then, and my midwife suggested having a big ol’ glass of wine as I headed into labor. Something to soothe the mother is always good for the baby, she said.
This simple concept seems to be what studies are proving again and again: Relaxed, happy moms produce happy children, and their behavior reflects that. And this whole cycle apparently starts in the womb. I have a feeling that wine could be replaced by any other activity that an expecting mom finds relaxing, soothing or enjoyable. Yoga, shopping with friends, hiking, crafting and so on. The moms in the studies may also be the kinds of parents who’ve gotten the right blend of rest, work, fresh air and fun with their own friends too. Any time the whole family feels at peace, well, of course the baby has a better chance of picking up on that vibe and carrying it into childhood.
Still, the full picture isn’t quite clear—and I doubt it will ever be since families don’t follow the one formula fits all premise—but thanks to these studies, we do know that a little wine is not only okay for the babies these days, it’s possibly a benefit. So here’s to you, moms.
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