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Alcohol and Pregnancy – Who needs research?

This article in the Guardian was sent to me by a friend who thought I would be interested in what it had to say. In short it is promoting the use of light alcohol consumption during pregnancy based on the results of a study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Kelly et al. 

It states that those who drink low levels of alcohol during pregnancy are no more likely to have childen with behavioural or cognitive problems than those who do not drink alcohol. It even infers that those who consume low levels of alcohol may be better off but as this was not statistically significant they cannot state it – however, they should not even be inferring it and to do so is irresponsible and defeats the purpose of doing statistical analysis. 

However, I ask the question – do we really need research to answer this question? Do we really need to spend money, time and effort to answer a question we all innately know the answer to? 

As far as the human body is concerned, alcohol is a poison, a toxic substance that causes harm to our cells and organs. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption as far as cancer is concerned as previously reported on this blog. If anyone has ever had a hangover, then they too know that the body has been harmed and poisoned by the consumption of alcohol and hence why it fees so rotten. We should only ever need one hangover to know that alcohol is harming to us. Yet we don’t listen to the wisdom of our own body – we ignore it, override it, deny it and make all sorts of excuses for carrying on poisioning ourselves: I know, having done it myself many times. Thus I speak from experience of living on both sides – the alcohol consumer and the alcohol abstainer. In doing so, there is no judgment on anyone who chooses to drink alcohol – that would be highly hypocritical to say the least. However, having walked on both sides (or perhaps staggered on one!) I am deeply aware how and why we get trapped by this substance and all the so-called ‘norms’ around it. 

In light of the over-whelming evidence of the toxicity of alcohol to human cells – why do we even need to consider performing research on the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy? It is a no-brainer that the healthy option is abstinence. A little bit of poison is still poison – energetically it doesn’t suddenly become non-toxic just because there is less of it.  If a substance is toxic to a part, it is toxic to the whole – the whole cannot be well, if the part is not well. If it is harming to the Mother, and it is, then it will be harming to the foetus also. We are in deep illusion if we think that we can consume something that is just harmful to a part of us but does not affect the whole of us. 

Indeed, many pregnant women innately know that alcohol is harming and stop drinking during pregnancy. It is interesting to note that whilst they are willing to stop drinking for the health of their child, they were not previously willing to stop for their own health! The love and care for their unborn child exceeds the love and care they have for themselves. It is of course great to expose this and it can lead to great healing opportunities to consider what underlies the desire to numb, harm and poison oneself. In my experience, there are usually hurts and wounds buried within, that we are perhaps in denial of or unwilling to feel – because they hurt! Lack of self-worth, self-loathing, self-hatred can all underlie the persistent need to numb oneself. Not being enough, exhaustion and depletion such that we look for the sugar boost, ‘treat’ or ‘reward’ through alcohol may also occur.

We stay away from feeling those hurts and wounds and deeper hidden yucky feelings as part of us feels they are true, that we are not good enough, not lovable, not worthy etc etc. But these are all false, all lies. Esoterically and energetically we are pure love in essence. By connecting with this essence, knowing and accepting it is there, it gives us the space and freedom to feel those unwanted feelings. Freedom comes when we feel and release these buried hurts and wounds and realise we are not those hurts or wounds nor are we defined by them but that underneath all of that gunk there is the amazingness and awesomeness of the Love that we are. Instead of running away from them, we say ‘bring it on’, let me feel the ‘what is not’, the ‘what I am not’ no matter how ugly or horrible it may feel, because, underneath we know without doubt there is a deeper truth; that we are divine and glorious vehicles of Love. 

In my opinion, it is irresponsible to promote or encourage alcohol consumption during pregnancy in any way. Studies have shown that smokers during pregnancy for example have epigenetic effects on the DNA of their children that affects them later in life. The more we come to know about epigenetics, where environmental factors affect genetic expression, I am sure we will find out more and more about how what is consumed during pregnancy affects the genetic expression of the unborn child and causes changes in later life we are not yet aware of.  Whilst there are many useful ways that research may be employed to help mankind and answer as yet unanswered questions – it is not required to answer the question, “is there a safe level of alcohol consumption during pregancy?” The answer is already known – innately in our own bodies and is a simple no. Of course research can help to elucidate the detail of how it harms, the cellular and epigenetic effects for example but let us not kid ourselves that we do not know IF it harms. For those who do need research and do not trust the wisdom of their own body, ponder on this – how can there be no safe level of alcohol consumption when it comes to cancer, yet it can be considered safe in pregnancy?  

Disclaimer: As a medical professional I support the use of scientific research to aid our understanding and unfolding development and this post is not ‘anti-research’ in general.  This post refers specifically to the question of whether alcohol is safe to consume during pregnancy and I am proposing in this blog that it is not needed to answer the global question of IF it is safe or not, as there is already enough research on the effects of  alcohol in the human being to answer this globally, along with our own innate wisdom. I fully appreciate of course that research can assist us in knowing the details, the pathways, the mechanisms etc by which alcohol harms the human being. 

Feel free to share your experiences or comment on anything this article arises for you. 

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Annette Baker
    19th April 2013 at 12:17 am

    Eunice I absolutely agree with you, why this valuable research money is being spent on something that the answer to is so innately known in our bodies, and from our lived experience, is ridiculous. It raises the question; what HOLD does alcohol have over us if we will go to such lengths to protect the ‘value and place’ for it in our lives???
    Working in Restaurants I regularly see pregnant women who will be so cautious to not consume anything with raw egg, un-pasteurised cheese or raw fish, and the list goes on; however, they will happily continue to consume alcohol whilst pregnant and/or breast feeding.
    As a race of beings we have many concerns about the environment, the medical system, and our political systems, and we expect these systems and the world around us to be there to support us; yet, what true support are we really willing to offer ourselves to make this life right, if we are not honestly prepared to be honest about something which is such a no-brainer as alcohol, and its’ adverse affects on our health and our society, and the energetic facts of how it takes us away from being ourselves. And therein lies another question, how can we answer a question as to what is best for us if we are choosing something which does not truly allow us to be ourselves? Who then is asking the question???
    Hence we end up with research that conveniently comes up with findings that totally support us to keep on with our mis-guided ways, as though what we are doing is actually looking after us. That way we don’t have to address what we don’t want to address.

  • Reply
    Dragana Brown
    19th April 2013 at 5:18 pm

    My head was swinging from side to side in an absolute disbelief when I read this piece in the Guardian. Have we truly lost the plot?! Recently I had a conversation with five lovely ladies and after some lengthy discussion over what’s good for us and what’s not so good for us, that old saying – (perhaps) A little bit of everything in moderation is good, came up. To me that statement serves as an excuse for people to have something they know is not good for them (I too have been on that side of the fence, I too have staggered!). Heroin addicts might think they take heroin in ‘moderation’ – too much would kill them anyway. This article reminded me of the same saying/argument, and it also deeply shocked me – I just could not come to terms with the extent to which we would go to, to justify consumption of a substance that is essentially poison for the liver and the entire body, and very harming indeed. So if a pregnant lady wants to enjoy few glasses of alcohol a week, this type of research can completely disperse any potential guilt feeling and a notion that perhaps she should not be drinking. I say (and as you so eloquently put it too) if somebody wants to have alcohol, by all means, but why a research to justify it? Think of the harm this research could potentially cause by presenting or even suggesting that few glasses of wine a week whilst pregnant may improve child’s behaviour and intellectual development – CRAZY! There are some super ambitious parents/mothers out there and what if this kind of research encourages them to drink even if they are not drinkers, thinking at least they might end up with a smart, well behaved kid!! The potential harm here is huge! What’s wrong with researching how eating vegetables affects our behaviour and cognitive skills? I’d be curious to find out who backs this type of research. It better not be Mr. Jack Daniels!

  • Reply
    Alison Moir
    20th April 2013 at 6:38 am

    Why would you want to expose your un-born precious and delicate baby to the alcohol? He/she has yet to be exposed to the outside world, so why introduce to them something we know alters our state of being and think it is not going to affect them in one way or another.I really don’t understand why we need proof that it is ok to drink a small amount while pregnant, it seems an un-neccessary waste of time and money. As you say Eunice many woman who drink, naturally choose not to when they are pregnant, so there is a strong inner knowing that tells them it is not good for the baby…even if they have not been able to see that it is also a poison for themselves. If only researchers would listen to a woman’s natural instincts instead of wanting to have proof. Thank you Eunice for bringing this to to our awareness.

  • Reply
    Visitor
    13th May 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Although I do and will not ever drink alcohol again for personal reasons, I thought this was interesting. I was surprised to see the many studies and surveys done on the preventative benefits of drinking SMALL daily doses of alcohol. Apparently showing a reduction in many conditions, including several cancers and heart disease. (As a prevention, not a treatment)

    It is always interesting how information can be compiled to confirm a certain view point.

    http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/AlcoholAndHealth.html

  • Reply
    Beverley Brown
    29th April 2013 at 10:32 am

    Research is amazing, but to waste money on justifying the consumption of alcohol, especialy when pregnant is plain bonkers!!! Having been pregnant I remember very clearly going off alcohol and stopping smoking without any effort what so ever during pregnancy. At 25 I was not overly used to listening to my body, infact I was more into abusing it with the two aforementioned substances, but on the issue of nicotine and alcolic intake during pregnancy, it was obvious to avoid it. I have never seen a mother offer a baby a glass of wine as I have never seen a baby with a cigarette in its mouth. Ridiculous as that last sentance sounds , it is exactly what the research you speak of is suggesting as ok. I am very interested in the epigenetics of which you speak and this seems an area where more extensive research is required and where funding would be much better spent.

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