I've been pretty open on this blog about what I really ate and drank during my twin pregnancy. Although I played things pretty safe, I was sure to avoid undercooked eggs and unpasteurized cheese and juice, especially while traveling abroad. I did drink approximately 8 ounces of coffee daily, which my doctor gave the OK. And yes, I admit: I did sneak a couple of sips of someone else's wine here or there.
Not surprisingly, I was far from alone in letting alcohol pass my lips during pregnancy: It turns out that one in 10 pregnant women around the country admit to drinking alcohol at least from time to time, according to a report released today by federal researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Perhaps it's not a huge surprise to learn that pregnant women occasionally sip. But this part is scary: A third of those who admitted to drinking at all also admitted to binge drinking—that's more than four drinks in a sitting. And get this: The likeliest category of women to report drinking while pregnant were older moms and college grads.
That's the case despite the recommendation that expecting women avoid alcohol entirely, as there is no known safe level among pregnant women. Fetal alcohol syndrome affects as many as 5 percent of first-graders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We know that alcohol use during pregnancy can cause birth defects and developmental disabilities in babies, as well as an increased risk of other pregnancy problems, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and prematurity," said Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, in the CDC news release. "This is an important reminder that women should not drink any alcohol while pregnant. It's just not worth the risk."
This latest news comes on the heels of American Baby's report on what pregnant women really eat, which surveyed more than 2,300 women for their candid feedback on what they truly consumed during pregnancy. Check out the graphic summarizes the results of the survey:
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