Monday, November 13, 2006

An absurd generation of alarmists

Rachel Weisz makes a sane statement and gets lambasted for it.

Why does this attitude of zero tolerance make me so livid? A glass of wine once in awhile for a pregnant woman is no big deal.

Last night foetal alcohol syndrome specialist Dr Raja Mukherjee, of St George's Hospital Medical School in London, said: "If Rachel Weisz has drunk during her pregnancy and the baby is fine then that's just pure luck. The problem is that you don't know who is at risk and who is not.

"It doesn't mean that anyone who has drunk alcohol is going to be affected but because we cannot predict, then it is safer to avoid it.

"There is a risk throughout your whole pregnancy.There is potential harm to the unborn baby's brain at any point and that is fact."

It is probably also a fact that every doctor, politician, activist, you-name-it was born to a mother who had the odd glass of wine during her pregnancy. I know my mother did -- and I'm perfectly fine.

Does anyone ever ask these self-righteous blowhards about their mothers? Doubt it.
Of course, in North American psychological practice, I believe a daily glass of wine with dinner (you know, like Europeans imbibe) is considered alcoholism.

Gads. Get a life.



Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with a glass of wine during pregnancy. It just the press having a slow news day.

Rachel is right.

Paula said...

My doctor told me to have a little wine when i was pregnant with my son because i was such a nervous wreck. There is nothing wrong with wine if you drink it in moderation.

The whole topic here is stupid.

Anonymous said...

Rachel is not condoling pregnant women to drink alcohol, she just said that a glass of wine in her opinion after the third trimester is OK. A glass, not glasses.

The whole thing is being blown way out of proportion.

Lydia said...

I will have to find my studies to give specifics but even the most conservative showed one and a half drinks per day had no effect. Their theory was that women would think if that amount was O.K. then a tich more couldn't hurt. The North American studies especially were skewed. The defining diagnosis is self reporting. If Mom doesn't fess up, that kid no matter the obvious effects, is NOT considered FAS. The middle trimester is actually the most critical. Did you know the lines on our palms are formed as the areas of our brain are connected? Two markers for FAS reside on the hand. One is the hockey stick - the top line markedly points to the ring finger. The second is in the finger tips - after soaking, if any wrinkling occurs at all, it is horizontal not vertical. Binge drinking is the real culprit. Any connections being made that day could be screwed. The most forthcoming in NA studies are native women, hence the skewed results.

Lydia said...

To anon. what the hell is after the third trimester? You are a man! to not know what the tri means.

Fran said...

The whole thing is being blown out of proportion. Its OK to drink in moderation but not heavy alcohol and a glass of wine is not heavy alcohol. Some doctors even recommend it for blood circulation for you and the baby.

Georgia said...

Rachel only said a glass of wine, not a bottle of hard liquor.

the press is truly graping for draws here.

PJ said...

Anonymous is right. Slow news day. Find a female celebrity, take one of her current quotes and try to generate a controversy from it to increase ratings/newspaper sales/clicks.

Lori said...

Hello all...regular readers, first time responders? (except Lyd of course) Or just cruising by?

Either way -- Welcome.

Slow news day it is -- but at the same time, the increasing number of hypocritical 'experts' in the health field is a little alarming. Experts with perfectly healthy parents who ate _________ (fill in blank with current 'evil' food), drank while pregnant, didn't do Pilates, or ...

It's all BS.

[oh, and anonymous, Lydia is right -- after the third trimester, Mom can drink all she wants, if she's bottle-feeding. If breastfeeding -- the better choice for her baby -- well, that's another issue all together.]

Anyway...I really like Rachel Weisz in the Mummy movies.

Lydia said...

Your comment on NA psychological "practice" took me to my DSM-IV. There are 15 Alcohol-Related Disorders! No isms though. I did learn a new word - nystagmus: a spasmotic movement of the eyes, rotatory or from side to side - so it wasn't a total waste of my time. (Now that I can focus again!)Can't wait for DSM-V to see what is or is not a disease NOW!

raincoaster said...

I'm with you, but not with all the commenters here; I'm not aware of any studies whatsoever that show hard liquor has a different effect on pregnant women (or the fetus) than wine or beer does. It's the alcohol dosage per se that's being studied here. Let's not allow support for moderation to encourage us to make shit up.

Lydia said...

Yah, there's enough true shit so we don't need to make anything up! You're right on raincoaster,% of alcohol per volume is what we're looking at. I think alot of people feel wine is more genteel, and saying a "glass" sounds so quaint. I have glasses that take half a 750ml bottle! PS. don't call anyone an alcoholic - they are dipsomaniacs.

Anonymous said...

qThere is absolutely no scientific evidence that suggests alcohol here and there has any effect on a childs brain. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are cases of excessive alcohol abuse before and during pregnancy. And even then, we are talking a case of beer per day. EXCESSIVE. People are too uptight.

Lydia said...

Is # 13 the same anonymous as #1 and #3? To #13 at least: what is here and there? Alcohol abuse before pregnancy may do a lot of things but it does not cause FAS. If you think a case(I'm assuming 12-341ml here)(see how arbitrary amounts could be?)is excessive how about 11, 9 maybe? Have you read any studies? Most may not be considered "scientific" in the purest sense since the control group is self-reporting but not one child has been born with FAS when o% of alcohol was involved. You're right about the too uptight thing. That can't be good during OR after pregnancy for the kid!

Metro said...

Mme knows this, but I enjoy repeating it to total strangers and odd friends:

My grandmother was prescribed a Guiness (by name) per day during her pregnancy. Yes, by a doctor.

It was the Second World War, and green veggies were hard to get, so women (and everyone else) were often anaemic. Guiness was believed to boost iron levels.

Grandma continued to drink a Guiness a day until she turned 80 or so, which was when she started to fade.

My father showed no signs of mental disorder until he was past 60.

However lately he has fallen prey to a disorder whose symptoms manifest in him rolling about on the floor burbling nonsense syllables.

This terrible syndrome is called "grandchildren". Doctors now say that having more than one every nine months could be dangerous.

Doubtless Rachel will soon be advocating having three a year.

raincoaster said...

Metro, are you pregnant?

Guinness is indeed an excellent source of iron and several other nutrients. We used to feed it to the horses who had trouble keeping weight on...the equine equivalent of Kate Moss.