>“a little wine is good for the heart”

6:50 AM

>So here's a confession for you: I drink occassionally. And by that I do mean occassionally... like a half glass of wine every couple of weeks. It started off as an odd, odd thing....

I was craving wine one day. Not just any wine, mind you, but Vintner's White, a local wine made from muscadine grapes that tastes like they just juiced the suckers when they were perfectly ripe. I pined for this for several weeks before I finally gave in to a half glass.

I was worried, so I called up my grandma to ask her about her experiences with alcohol and pregnancy (after 5 kids I figured she knew something :P). It was by her that I was told that not only would a little bit of wine every once in a while not hurt, but that it was actually a *good* thing.

That bottle continued to sit in my fridge, though, until one night I was exhausted, stressed, and swollen and thought another half glass might help more than hurt. Oddly enough, it *did*... it relaxed me like wine tends to do in small amounts, and more importantly it made the swelling in my feet and legs dissipate.

Today I decided to do some research on wine and pregnancy in particular, rather than just alcohol and pregnancy. The reason I did this is because first of all wine is often put in a separate category health wise from other alcoholic beverages, and second because wine drinkers are known to usually be low/moderate drinkers that drink for the health benefits or for the taste and not to get messed up. An interesting link I pulled up:

Women Wine Critics Board

This article is very controversial, and a trip to Google will tell you why... this is the only article I came across that even really explored the subject beyond just saying "no because the effects are unknown".

I've gotten fed up with how many no's there are just because it's unknown as to whether certain things will affect a pregnancy or not. Like OTC medications... there's nice lists of what's ok and what's not ok... with no actual scientific proof to back ANY of it up! I mean, if Tylenol is *really* that safe during pregnancy, why does Tylenol still put a warning on the label about it like every other drug company?

There are even lists of foods that you're not supposed to eat... with not a scrap of proof to back them up.

You can read about what pregnancy will be like at different stages... even have your doctor give you a list of symptoms... and it be nothing like what it's "supposed" to be...

I'm beginning to think that what's safe/not safe during pregnancy just pretty much winds up to relying on your own instincts and using moderation in all things. If all these resources are right, just about everything is dangerous to a fetus and we are lucky we're not born with extra limbs and peanut sized brains. Yet through out the course of history pregnant women have smoked, drank, gulped down raw oysters, and probably a whole lot more I don't know about.... and they *still* popped out healthy babies. Furthermore, I can't count on my hands how many women I know that did "dangerous" things while they were pregnant with no problems... yet I can't even count one woman I know that did "dangerous" things and had problems. In fact, the ones I know that had problems were all women that went by the "rule book", heh.

As for me? I'm confused, split between what my common sense is telling me and what people that are supposed to know better are telling me. I do know one thing, though... the occasional half glass of wine is not any scarier than all the vitamin C that I tend to get eating tons of fruit. Oh, you didn't know about that probably, did you? Large amounts of vitamin C are said to heighten your chances of miscarriage (once again, that's one of the unknowns). Yet, doctors tell pregnant women to get lots and lots of fruit in their diets, and almost all the fruit out there has varying amounts of vitamin C in it. They're also told to get plenty of extra iron despite the fact iron is fat soluable and therefore easy to overdose on.


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