Despite intensive and extensive studies over several decades, there is no evidence that a pregnant woman in good health, who does not smoke, and who has a balanced diet, including (say) a glass of wine each day, is in danger of harming the health of her unborn child because of that daily consumption of wine. There is evidence to suggest enhanced cardio vascular health protection, and there is evidence that the social and stress-relieving impact of strictly controlled consumption is good for the mother’s health, and by extension, the baby’s.
Simply because it is impossible to prove a negative from a scientific epidemiological standpoint, it can’t be proved that there is no risk whatsoever. And even the warning to a mother that she may cause harm to her unborn baby has an enormous emotional impact, and most GPs tend to dodge the issue when they are asked for an opinion by the pregnant woman by saying it has to be a personal decision.
All of this was reported by Natasha Bita, consumer editor for The Australian newspaper, and lo and behold, the Daily Wine News, published by Winetitles, covers the article and finishes with this sentence, ‘According to The Australian, wine, spirit and beer bottles will have to be labelled with tobacco-style health warnings to tell pregnant women that drinking will damage their unborn baby.’ It’s the sort of headline-grabbing sloppy reporting on this important issue that really makes me cross. Like countless couples, my wife and I fought for our equal share of the bottle of wine chosen on the night before she went off to hospital to respectively give birth to my beautiful and highly intelligent daughter, and my supremely healthy son with a Masters degree in human movements.