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by Regan Simpson July 20, 2020
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy has been a no-go in modern times. It’s usually the first thing women cut out when they know they’re expecting. Many women even stop drinking before any positive pregnancy test if they’re trying to conceive. However, some women do continue to drink, despite the notion that doing so can have negative effects. Regardless, most women actively seeking pregnancy are aware of the risks and take caution in their drink choices.
But what about non alcoholic beer? Most NA beer contains trace amounts of alcohol, even though it must test under 0.5% ABV to classify as non-alcoholic. Can that trace amount cause any harm? And if some women occasionally have a drink during pregnancy, an NA beer with only trace amounts of alcohol should be okay on occasion, right? Let’s look at what we know so far.
There hasn’t been a ton of research conducted on this topic to date. This research can involve some obstacles, and the current scope is limited when it comes to conclusive answers.
There may be other, safer ways to carry out this research in the future, but the guidelines remain the same for now.
When it comes to alcohol in pregnancy, no amount is recommended as safe- not even trace amounts. Guidelines are here to keep us healthy, and likely won’t change even with new research. And believe it or not, some research has actually studied the effects of light drinking during pregnancy.
The findings state that a small amount of alcohol (a couple of drinks per week) is probably fine. But loosening the guidelines and deeming small amounts of alcohol safe during pregnancy could end up having dangerous implications according to the CDC - and it would require a lot more research first.
If a woman has trouble moderating, drinking the “safe” glass of wine could turn into drinking a few more. And where do we draw the line between a safe amount and a dangerous amount? The line could blur in some situations, and it’s best to be safe based on what we do know.
Most of these studies are here to assure women that the drinks they consumed before they even knew they were pregnant are not likely to hurt their baby, and that one sip (or glass) of wine shouldn’t cause you to worry too much.
But you might think that peace of mind feels better than a drink tastes. You shouldn’t panic about the beers you drank before you even suspected you were pregnant. But if you know you are pregnant and want to do what’s best for you and your baby’s health, choosing a drink with no alcohol is the safest option.
So, can you drink non alcoholic beers while pregnant? That’s a trickier question to answer. Most non alcoholic beers do contain trace amounts of alcohol, and some even contain more than what the label says, or up to 1.8%.
With this information, it’s up to the individual and her doctor to decide on whether it is safe for her to drink non alcoholic beers while pregnant. Keep in mind that NA beer has comparable amounts of alcohol to kombucha, orange juice or a ripe banana.
The good news is that there are still other options. If you want to stay social with friends and family during pregnancy, having a drink in hand can help. Luckily, in addition to lightly fermented NA beer, there are several options available that contain absolutely no alcohol. The following options are great for both socializing and a safe pregnancy!
While most NA beer on the market has slight amounts of alcohol due to its fermentation, some beer is completely alcohol-free. Hairless Dog has many options, and Heineken 0.0% is a classic choice.
Keep in mind that even though the label claims to be 0.0%, beers claiming to be alcohol-free can still contain trace amounts. Use your own judgement on this one.
Both Grüvi Prosecco and Grüvi Bubbly Rosé are completely alcohol-free! There is no fermentation used in making the wines, so it does not contain even trace amounts of alcohol. Since you’ll be celebrating a lot while pregnant, make sure you have some baby-friendly bubbly on hand.
If you want to sip on the best mimosa you’ve ever tasted, mix some orange juice with the Prosecco. Bring it to baby showers and brunches, and watch everyone’s reaction when you tell them that it’s completely alcohol free.
Get creative and make your own mocktails using sparkling water, juices, and other fun ingredients or tinctures you have on hand. Grüvi Prosecco is a delicious ingredient to add some flavor and bubbly to countless recipes. Here are three to get you started. The Bubbly Rosé is another great option for mocktails- we’ve got a few favorites so far!
Keep an eye on our blog, as we plan on sharing new recipes in the future. The options are endless!
While it may be tempting to believe that an occasional alcoholic beverage may help lower your stress levels during pregnancy, it’s probably best to find other ways to reduce stress and socialize.
Get a massage, take a bath, go for a walk, or call a friend. Build healthy habits that will reduce your stress levels and not cover them up. Alcohol doesn’t do much for long-term stress relief, and can actually make it worse. For more information on how it can affect your mental health, check out our recent blog post.
Socializing without drinking can be another tough obstacle for some people, but being able to have a drink in hand can help. Nikki Bergren, a pilates instructor and new mama, told us that drinking NA beverages during pregnancy helped her to feel a part of any social atmosphere. Nikki also said “Good glassware is key. Honestly, all beverages taste better in proper glassware, do not give me any red solo cups!” I definitely agree- sipping out of a champagne glass is the easiest way to feel elevated regardless of what the drink is.
Kim Perry, a fitness specialist and another recent mama, shared with us why she chose to drink NA while pregnant: “With pregnancy there seems to be many things you're not allowed to have, so it is pretty fun when you find a product that tastes good and is safe for pregnancy. I will say that it is SO fun to have the option of non-alcoholic drinks like Grüvi to make evenings or special events that much more fun!”
Having other beverage options during pregnancy can help you feel more comfortable at various events or celebrations, and is a great way to treat yourself to a “drink” when you deserve one (and let’s be honest, we all deserve a great drink to have!)
As we were doing the research necessary to write this post, we realized how divided this topic can be, especially with the lack of research. Most health experts follow the CDC guidelines that state there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, but some doctors may tell you that it’s okay to enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage.
And if it’s okay to enjoy an actual alcoholic beverage, the occasional NA beer should be okay. NA beer will always have much less alcohol than regular beer, so it’s safe to say it’s definitely a better option. Again, despite what we have said here, it always comes down to the individual and what her doctor suggests.
Again, If you want to avoid all risk and maintain your peace of mind, there are plenty of other beverages on the market with 0.0% ABV. You can check out sites like NA Craft Beverages or Amazon for numerous options in the non alcoholic market.
When it’s all said and done, avoiding trace amounts of alcohol can provide peace of mind during pregnancy. Nowadays, choosing a completely alcohol free drink can be easy and still taste delicious.