Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I was at a party once and getting up to get everyone drinks. I turned to a pregnant friend of a friend and asked “Can I get you a drink?” only to met with a rude glare and the response “I'm PREGNANT!”. I hadn't offered her a scotch on the rocks or a Bacardi Breezer, simply a drink, which as far as I am aware includes water, soft drinks and even, if you're lucky, fruit juice. That was my first impression of a pregnant woman and it turned me off the thought of having kids for a long time.

From mid December through to mid February I have at least one event on every weekend; engagement parties, hens nights, weddings, 21st birthday parties – you name it, I've got it pencilled in. And so far, luckily, there has been no double bookings! I have chosen to not drink any alcohol during this pregnancy, much to Hubby's delight as he now has a live-in designated driver.

So what happens when you're accustomed to being a (big) social drinker and now can't partake in your favourite unwooded chardonnay? And what do other people think about me drinking or not? There seems to be three distinct groups – those that leave it up to the individual and don't pass judgement, those who think a little bit won't hurt and those who are very anti-alcohol (the latter being the most obvious because they have to pick up their jaws' from the ground as you stumble past with a pint).

Its Your Choice

At work on Friday afternoon drinks I was offered wine by three different people, all who knew I was pregnant. I was quite surprised, especially when one of them, on seeing me pick up the cheese based dip, smacked my hand and said “YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT, YOU'RE PREGNANT!”. In the dip there was a chance that there could be listeria, but I'm pretty sure the wine was guaranteed to have alcohol in it – my co-workers wouldn't stand for non-alcoholic wine at Friday drinks!

Just a Little Bit

At New Years I drank only soft drink and water, and got approving nods and smiles from friends whilst Hubby got congratulated on finding the secret to being able to drink and get a free lift home. However when I was offered a rum ball and politely refused due to the rum part, I was met with a look that said “Surely its not enough to do any damage?”. I'm sure they are right and the amount of alcohol in them would have been almost negligible, but I just felt better in myself to say no.

Jaw Droppers

At lunch with a friend of mine, E., (a pharmacist who knows practically everything worth knowing) we got on to this subject. She is a teetotaller and was very happy with my decision to not drink plus she assured me the half glass of wine I'd had before I found out I was pregnant wouldn't have done any harm. So anyway, E confessed to being a inadvertent jaw dropper! She told of how she had seen a pregnant woman at dinner recently with a glass of wine and how her first reaction was to think how irresponsible the woman was being (whilst picking up her jaw from her plate of spinach cannelloni). This of course immediately made her feel guilty for judging her not knowing any of the circumstances. Maybe it was the one and only glass she'd had all pregnancy? Maybe it was just one or two that night for a special occasion? We shall never know. But there is possibly some comfort for drinking pregnant women that the Jaw Droppers' do feel guilty for falling in to that category.

Even as a big social drinker, known for frothing at the mouth at the mere mention of a Goundrey's, I've not actually had any trouble abstaining from drinking. It doesn't feel like a burden or something that needs constant vigilance. And I haven't felt left out socially either. I think it was all in my head that I'd be 'the only one not drinking'. So now a decision has to be made; when Tricky is born will I resume drinking? You Betcha!


  1. I'll be the first to confirm that when you first start refusing alcohol, there is fear of being a social outcast. However given the friends you have, there really was never anything to worry about there. It is entirely possible to go to the pub with your mates (or new years, or the office party) and have a brilliant time without touching a drop yourself. Plus you don't have to wake up with a hangover, plus your nights out become a truckload cheaper (I'd like to say I make sure I still buy my round, but drinking coke certainly lessens the dent in the wallet).

    /end rant


  2. Great post T. ahh but when u FINALLY get to drink again you will get the " but you're BREASTFEEDING " comments which my mother in law says to me when she sees me having the occasional champers so it dosent stop unfortunately. I gave up smoking and drinking thru both pregnancys and i found it easy as I didn't feel like either. That's not to say I will judge anyone for having the occasional glass of wine. I do however remember meeting a friend of a friend years ago who was in her eight month of pregnancy with a can of jim beam in one hand and a smoke in the other and the judgemental side of me though there was nothing more of a turn off. Anyways that's my speel xo K

  3. I didnt drink very much while pregnant, however I did enjoy a half pint of guinness on my friday pub lunches (the iron is good for the baby yar). Now I am breastfeeding, having a few ciders here and there, but because I haven't drunk much in the past year, one can knock me out! Just dont do it excessively, otherwise baby can develop Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. But yeah, heaps of mums drink and smoke their way through their pregnancy and the babies come out fine! Use your motherly intuition at all times, if it doesnt feel right, then it isnt! (and if that one drink makes your feel good, aww yeah why not) <3

  4. One of my hubby's family members who is a doctor tried to convince me to drink wine at a Christmas party whilst pregnant with Kassandra. He assured me it was fine to have half a glass every now and then.

    I politely refused :). Different strokes for different folks



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