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Is It Safe? Can Pregnant Women Drink Wine?

Is It Safe? Can Pregnant Women Drink Wine?

Throughout the whole pregnancy, women are bound to hear different advice regarding everything, starting from what to eat, what to avoid, what to wear, what exercises to do- the list is never-ending.

One of the most frequently asked question is can pregnant women drink wine? Or, drink any alcohol beverages for that manner. Now, wine is one drink that is used for many occasions, like birthdays, hangouts with girlfriends, during wedding toasts, and so on. And then, there are those, who prefer to unwind the day with a glass of wine.

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As such, it makes sense that many pregnant women are highly concerned with questions around the safety of consuming alcoholic beverages such as wine and the potential harms these products can cause for their babies. While it can seem overwhelming, read on to find out more about why drinking alcohol can cause problems and how you can protect against conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome.

Is drinking liquor safe for pregnant mothers?

Let me give a brief explanation on the consequences of drinking liquor for pregnant women. According to doctors, the time span a pregnant women has with her child inside her is only nine months. Therefore, if a mother can hold off her urge to drink on any occasion, it is better for both the mother and the child. It is believed that drinking during this special time can potentially lead to birth defects.

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“The problem with drinking alcohol during your pregnancy is that there is no amount that has been proven to be safe,” says Jacques Moritz, MD, director of gynecology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York. Researchers have not been able to detect the specific harm alcohol does to the baby at particular times during pregnancy, thus, they can’t say that any period of the pregnancy is a safe time to consume alcohol. As such, experts overall advise pregnant women to avoid drinking during the whole nine months.

What about wine: can pregnant women drink wine during this period?

Now let’s come to the core question of how safe it is for pregnant women to drink wine. Drinking wine lavishly, regardless of it being a special occasion or not, can lead to problems. It is safest not to drink any alcohol, whether it is wine, or not.

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Dangers of drinking

Drinking alcohol may cause fetal alcohol syndrome. This is used to describe a number of ailments that develop in a fetus while it is growing inside the pregnant woman. The most common risk is to develop mental retardation. Other types of problems can include physical problems, neurological problems, and varies types of psychological syndromes. When you drink alcohol the intoxicants pass through the placenta into the baby’s blood stream. The baby is constantly developing inside you, especially the brain. Therefore, once the alcohol is inside the blood stream, it works directly in the baby’s body. This causes the abnormalities, which will, unfortunately, stay with the baby even after birth, and for the rest of their life.

Due to the potential harm caused by drinking alcohol it is always better to avoid drinking booze while pregnant. If you think that maybe one gulp of wine won’t be harmful, you can drink, but do keep in mind that you are potentially posing a risk to your baby’s health.

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I have already mentioned before that this magical period will only lasts for nine months. Then you can drink as much as you want to, unless you are breastfeeding. Then add another six months. But it is for your and your baby’s benefit. You can drink for the rest of your life. Just avoid these months. It’s no big deal, really! And if you think you are unable to control your need to consume alcohol, then you should seek your doctor’s help and support.

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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