Pregnancy necessitates many lifestyle changes, all to help you give your unborn child the healthiest start possible. If a beer or a glass of wine over dinner, with dessert, or for a special occasion is part of your routine, you may miss the occasional drink when you are pregnant. Saying good-bye to alcohol during your pregnancy is an easy sacrifice to make when it results in a happy, healthy baby 9 months later. But do you have to say good-bye to the taste of beer? Many women may wonder if non-alcoholic beer is an acceptable substitute for alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
What is non-alcoholic beer?
According to Wise Geek, non-alcoholic beer is a beverage brewed as regular beer and then with the majority of the alcohol removed towards the end of the process. Traditionally, it contains less than .5% alcohol. Non-alcoholic beer is often consumed by individuals who like the taste of beer, but are abstaining from alcohol. This may include women who are pregnant, those who abstain from alcohol for religious reasons, or recovering alcoholics. O’Doul’s and Sam Adams both sell popular non-alcoholic beers, though the jury is still out about whether or not they taste comparable to their alcoholic counterparts.
What are the concerns about drinking non-alcoholic beer during pregnancy?
There’s no question about it-alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Since non-alcoholic beer does begin as an alcoholic beverage and ultimately contain a small amount of alcohol at the end of production, there are some who would advise that even non-alcoholic beer should be avoided during pregnancy. Why risk it? Baby Center notes that while the small amount of alcohol present is unlikely to be a major concern, it’s still something that pregnant women should be aware of. Non-alcoholic beer is not entirely non-alcoholic.
So, can I drink a non-alcoholic beer while pregnant?
If you are interested in drinking a non-alcoholic beer during pregnancy, the best advice is to discuss this practice with your doctor or midwife. My midwife was fine with me drinking an occasional non-alcoholic beer after the first trimester, which I did. However, each pregnancy, each woman, and each doctor or midwife is different, and you should speak to your health care provider about your specific situation before you drink a non-alcoholic beer. Though the risks are minimal, it’s always better to ask first.
Remember that avoiding alcohol during pregnancy is one sacrifice moms-to-be make to give babies the best start possible.
Wise Geek; How is non alcoholic beer made?; http://www.wisegeek.com/how-is-non-alcoholic-beer-made.htm
Baby Center; Drinking alcohol during pregnancy; http://www.babycenter.com/0_drinking-alcohol-during-pregnancy_3542.bc?page=2