The CDC is clear that there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, but shouldn’t a woman be able to have a glass of non-alcoholic wine at this time?
As we all know, women who drink during pregnancy risk giving birth to a newborn infant with physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities, as well as an increased risk of miscarriage.
Of course, no mom would knowingly do that to her unborn child.
However, non-alcoholic wine can let a sober, pregnant mom, still feel like she belongs at social gatherings and functions.
Why Would a Mom Need Non-Alcoholic Wine?
There are many reasons why adults drink alcohol. Some of them being the physical need for the feeling that alcohol gives you, to feel comfortable in a social gathering, or maybe it’s just habitual.
There’s often people who just find that having a glass of anything in their hand is purely a habit.
For a long 9 months, expecting mothers are expected to abstain from alcohol, when it may have been a large part of their life.
For this reason, non-alcoholic can provide that “placebo effect” of drinking, while not actually consuming anything that could be a danger to your unborn child. Or is it?
Is Non-Alcoholic Wine Safe During Pregnancy?
When it comes to non-alcoholic wine in itself, the answer is ‘it depends’.
“If you ask any doctor the first reaction will be, well there is no alcohol in it so why not it should be safe. I would have answered the same way, however to my surprise after investigating I found out that they also contain some alcohol.” states Dr. Daniel Roshan, MD, FACOG, FACS, a NYC high-risk maternal-fetal OBGYN at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine.
Unfortunately, there are no reputable studies about consuming non-alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
Moreover, there is a chance that non-alcoholic drinks contain some ethanol levels, despite the fact that they state 0.00% on the label. This is because, as the law states, anything below 0.5% can be labeled as alcohol-free.
The Canadian Journal of Clinical Pharmacology has tested 45 beverages with ‘alcohol-free’ labels, and yet 30% of those had over 1% of alcohol present.
That being said, we simply cannot tell apart the “real” from the “fake” when it comes to whether these drinks really have no alcohol in them.
Generally, it is recommended for soon-to-be mothers to not take any risks and potentially harm their babies, since it is a known fact that overall alcohol consumption is a big red flag. Since there are such inconsistencies on the labels, it is just simply not worth the risk and possible consequences.
Always consult your doctor before you take non-alcoholic drink during pregnancy in order to be on the safe side.
How is Non-Alcoholic Wine Made?
For women who are trying to get pregnant, are nursing, or are pregnant, alcohol-free wine is a fantastic substitute. However, it’s normal to be wary of what you put in your body, so it’s important to consider how non-alcoholic wine is produced.
Alcohol-free wine is essentially created using the same premium grapes as conventional wine. The main distinction is that before bottling, the alcohol is eliminated. This means that alcohol-free wines still have the same flavour and aroma as regular wines.
Alco-free wines, on the other hand, are permitted to have an ABV of up to 0.5%, which is roughly the same as the ABV of fruit juice. There are still many solutions available if you would rather stay away from even a slight hint of alcohol.
Up to the bottling stage, when all or some of the alcohol is removed, conventional wine is created in the same manner, thus the wine does retain its health benefits.
You Can Still Find Alcohol in Foods We Eat
With all that said about possible trace amounts of alcohol in these “non-alcoholic drinks,” what’s to be said about foods that may contain alcohol?
“Most people likely don’t realize how many everyday foods and beverages contain trace amounts of alcohol.” states Kelly, Sip Yours.
“A fresh baked burger bun, a glass of orange juice, a ripe banana, and bottle of kombucha will all likely have a higher alcohol by volume than non-alcoholic wine, which by law must be less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.”
“At this trace level, any remaining natural alcohol that these other foods contain (which many people eat and drink every day) gets safely processed in your body. The body processes it the same way in the non-alcoholic wine.” Kelly confirmed.
Do Non-Alcoholic Wines Taste Good?
Some women may feel fine drinking non-alcoholic wine during pregnancy (which is generally true for most non-alcoholic beverages), while others find it too sweet and unpleasant. It all depends on an individual’s preference.
Is Non-Alcoholic Wine Healthy?
As with all drinks, it’s best to avoid or limit consumption of all sugary drinks, including non-alcoholic wines, as these can contribute to weight gain and obesity. This can increase the risk of complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and blood pressure disorders during pregnancy.
many brands of non-alcoholic wine also contain sulfites. Sulfites are preservatives that can trigger asthma attacks in some people, and they’re also thought to be harmful to pregnant women and fetuses.
If you’re considering drinking non-alcoholic wine during pregnancy, make sure to check the labels carefully to ensure that it doesn’t contain sulfites.
What is the Best Non-Alcoholic Wine During Pregnancy?
Non-alcoholic wine is a great way to enjoy the benefits of drinking wine without the alcohol. Of course, choosing to drink non-alcoholic beverages during pregnancy is a very personal decision.
There are many different brands of non-alcoholic wines on the market, and they all have slightly different ingredients and flavor profiles. For those that still have concerns, there are several options on the market that are built from the ground up without fermentation, meaning they are true 0.0% alcohol by volume options.
Many of these wines are made from grapes that have been specifically bred to produce alcohol-free wine. Other varieties contain fruit juice, sweeteners, and other ingredients that can give the illusion of alcohol but are actually completely free of alcohol.
Not all brands of non-alcoholic wine are created equal, so it’s important to do your research before purchasing a bottle.
Regardless of which brand you choose, non-alcoholic wines can be a great addition to your pregnancy diet. They are a delicious way to enjoy a glass of wine without having to worry about consuming any alcohol.
They also come in handy if you find yourself in a situation where only alcoholic drinks are available (such as at a work function).
So, the short answer is – we cannot be 100% sure if a non-alcoholic beverage such as wine is entirely alcohol-free. Although some doctors state that a light/occasional drink will not cause any harm, it is better not to risk it.
It’s best to push alcohol and its alternatives to the side for the duration of the pregnancy.