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Source: (consider it) Thread: Church, drinking cultures, and the exclusion of teetotalers
Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

Personally I would legalize marijuana. But there are quite a lot of studies suggesting alcohol in moderation prolongs life, and none for marijuana. (On the other hand the data linking alcohol to cancer are much better than any linking marijuana, but on the other hand there's reasonable data to suggest mental health illness in a proportion of marijuana users.)

Compared to smoking marijuana comes across pretty favourably.

IIRC, there are studies showing a strong correlation between early use (ages 12 and 13) of marijuana, and the onset of schizophrenia in the late 20s. Are those the data you're referring to?
In addition there is the evidence given in case after case in the criminal courts of drug use starting with marijuana at that sort of age and then to the use of much stronger and more harmful drugs in the mid to late teens.

[ 01. August 2017, 21:54: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

So, it seems pretty much a draw there as well.

Perhaps. Do people smoke marijuana for the taste? Maybe they do...

I perhaps should have emphasized that those are my personal objections to marijuana, for me. I'd be happy for it to be legalized. It looks to me as though the US is going about this in exactly the right way - some states are experimenting with legalization; we'll see if there are any problems, and other states can make decisions accordingly.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

So I can't give my experiences in a discussion thread now? I'm answering a question about whether I really need to drink or not. I need to draw on my experiences to do that.

Of course you can give your experiences. My point was that they are not quite data.

The secondary effects of marijuana on the user are not as studied as alcohol. But harmful effects of drunk people v stoned are fairly clear.

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
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mdijon
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It's much harder to study an illegal drug. Here is the abstract of a review of primary data suggesting a link between cannabis and schizophrenia, but pointing out the potential problems in saying whether that link is causal.

It is easier to say that cannabis use exacerbates mental health problems if they are already there, although that in itself would be cause to be cautious about cannabis use as an individual.

Here and here are two studies on the impact of alcohol on overall mortality, suggesting the "U" shaped effect (although more of a "J" really) where heavy use and no use are both at higher mortality than moderate use.

The effect sizes are small though. Personally I think there is no real value in arguing it through in detail, since the effect size is too small to justify a public health policy encouraging people to drink moderately. On the other hand it does make me think that public health is not well served by going after moderate drinkers.

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Curiosity killed ...

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
IIRC, there are studies showing a strong correlation between early use (ages 12 and 13) of marijuana, and the onset of schizophrenia in the late 20s. Are those the data you're referring to?
In addition there is the evidence given in case after case in the criminal courts of drug use starting with marijuana at that sort of age and then to the use of much stronger and more harmful drugs in the mid to late teens.

There's currently a BBC3 documentary on i-player Is it time to legalise weed?, which looks at the issues. One of the statistics quoted was that 10% of people using cannabis will suffer from psychosis.

The conclusions many are coming to is that legalisation will prevent much of the damage, because there will be regulation over strength and quality: people will know what they are buying. That it will remove the illegal drug trade and the drug dealers from the equation and the opportunity to be led into stronger drugs. It doesn't stop the mental health problems or the addictive nature of cannabis.

Another thing I was reminded of was that Durham police / Northumbria police are not prosecuting people who grow for their own use as they are choosing to police based on judgement of harm and they cannot see that personal use of cannabis is causing harm.

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Gee D
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Yes, that's why I used the word correlation, as AFAIK, there's no evidence yet of causation. We do not know whether any of these people would have become schizophrenic in any event, or that there may have already been some showing within them that prompted them to use marijuana.

The same applies to the subsequent use of/addiction to much harder and more harmful drugs. How many of those users would have done so without early commencement of their marijuana use? Again, there's no evidence so far.

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Curiosity killed ...

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The situation is further complicated as many alcoholics and drug addicts are self-medicating.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

Also, much alcohol is nasty tasting until one gets used to it and/or covers it up.

As an aside; in general appreciation of any sour tasting liquid is an acquired taste (tea, coffee, alcohol etc. tend to be tastes acquired slightly later in life). I assume there are evolutionary/survival reasons why humans naturally steer away from such tastes.
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Pyx_e

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Pyx_e, in what world does a motorbike make you a better Christian?

mdijon. I take your point. I hope I am not seen as arguing for abstinence. My question is that any amount of alcohol above a moderate amount seems to me to have a profound effect on the soul. At once anesthetising and degrading.

It is clear Jesus liked a glass of wine, an it is part of tradition to use it as a social lubricant. My situation means that I too often only deal with the effects of that which lies beyond social/moderate drinking. too much of my own sin and the sin I deal with every day is a direct result of lack of self control. He however saw the peace and comfort a glass or two of wine can give as part of God's gift to us and I get that. My problem is not the gift it is my misuse of the gift.

Which leads me onto your question. My motorcycle makes me a better Christian because it is beautiful, to ride my bike is to take part in a poem. When I go for a bike ride my soul is lifted up, I am freed. Also it is greener to use than a car.

Of course (as with ALL things) is can lead me to sin. there is no place the devil's seed does not lie in wait. But in truth if the questions is: which is better for the Kingdom everyone riding a motorbike or everyone drinking? That is a no-brainer.

Ride safe,

Pyx_e

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MaryLouise
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Just thinking here about what Pyx_e said.

For most of us, church communities are filled with what I'd call 'open secrets', the kinds of awareness and intuitions unlikely to make it onto church prayer mentions.

So for some of us, having an open bottle of wine on the table while enjoying a church supper or Shrove Tuesday pancake celebration is something we scarcely notice. This isn't a pub where the focus is alcohol, it's church and a glass or two of wine is mildly enjoyable. Nobody is likely to openly disapprove: if they don't want wine, they just say no.

But if I'm sitting next to someone who is trying to give up alcohol and fresh out of a rehab centre, the presence of wine and offers to fill up a glass becomes charged and frightening. Some people can't just say no, it isn't that simple. Even if they say no, they are craving that glass quite desperately.

If the person seated across from me is slurring his words, red-faced and has probably had too much to drink before arriving, I find myself wishing the alcohol wasn't there as a further temptation. If I know the woman at the end of the table is wondering whether the church is a safe place to talk about her daughter's alcoholism as a family problem, I wish the bottle of wine and the drinking wasn't there. At moments like these some of us remember what it was like growing up in families with alcoholic parents. What abnormal drinking to excess is like, what it means when somebody gets cheerful enough at a church supper to come home and continue partying. What happens later that night, and the next morning's bad temper, guilt, promises.

No answers really. This is the world we all live in, no different really from our workplaces, sports clubs, neighborhood gatherings, family reunions, going out to restaurants.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
When I was breast-feeding my babies more than forty years ago, a nurse advised me that if I felt frazzled when it was almost time to feed the baby, I should drink six ounces of beer.

A very common problem among breast-feeding women is a failure to let the milk down. The milk is made behind the nipples, and something has to relax before it flows to them. If a woman is uptight, she cannot let down the milk. Six ounces of beer is enough to relax her so that the milk flows.

Not so much.
.

Opinion on this is not unanimous. See the variety at this site.

I have the impression that the doctors who recommend total abstinence have had first-hand experience dealing with babies who have been affected by their mothers' alcohol consumption. A friend of mine who takes in foster children once had a newborn with fetal alcohol syndrome. It was pitiful. It is not surprising that seeing this would make people do everything possible to prevent it.

It is important to bear in mind that some women stop breast-feeding because they have trouble letting down their milk. Unless someone has a better suggestion, a small quantity of beer is the best solution. I note that all the studies referenced spoke of normal-size servings of alcohol, rather than six ounces of beer once a day.

Moo

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Brenda Clough
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If you are nursing a newborn, then you deserve and should be given every possible thing that makes your life easier. And if this includes Guinness then that's fine. I know those who have given birth will agree with me.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
If you are nursing a newborn, then you deserve and should be given every possible thing that makes your life easier. And if this includes Guinness then that's fine. I know those who have given birth will agree with me.

well, maybe not all of us.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
When I was breast-feeding my babies more than forty years ago, a nurse advised me that if I felt frazzled when it was almost time to feed the baby, I should drink six ounces of beer.

A very common problem among breast-feeding women is a failure to let the milk down. The milk is made behind the nipples, and something has to relax before it flows to them. If a woman is uptight, she cannot let down the milk. Six ounces of beer is enough to relax her so that the milk flows.

Not so much.
.

Opinion on this is not unanimous. See the variety at this site.

Most doctors recommend against and a few mother's think it is OK. Hmmm.

This link says it is the barley not the alcohol.
Two more things.
One, Saying "Yes, but carefully" translates to "Go for it" in many ears. They only hear the yes.
Two, why risk a child's health because one cannot live without a pint or a shot for a few months?
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
If you are nursing a newborn, then you deserve and should be given every possible thing that makes your life easier. And if this includes Guinness then that's fine. I know those who have given birth will agree with me.

Really? The child's welfare isn't the most important thing?

[ 02. August 2017, 16:37: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Brenda Clough
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A beer or two is not going to affect the child (unless there's other major health issues going on).

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
Which leads me onto your question. My motorcycle makes me a better Christian because it is beautiful, to ride my bike is to take part in a poem. When I go for a bike ride my soul is lifted up, I am freed.

Of your experience I have no doubt. Likewise, I think I'm a better friend when I share a drink with my friends. Not because I need the disinhibition, but because it is an enjoyable activity that we share, and gives us a focus around which to chat. A bike would do nothing for me (except shorten my life).

quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
which is better for the Kingdom everyone riding a motorbike or everyone drinking? That is a no-brainer.

Well I think I'd be a no-brainer after missing a right turn on the motorway, but seriously it would do nothing for me, and I don't think that is the question. And it would destroy the environment.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Two, why risk a child's health because one cannot live without a pint or a shot for a few months?

I don't think there's any data supporting alcohol as a general remedy to support breastfeeding, but the problem with the very precautionary idea that you don't do anything which might have a theoretical risk is that before you know where you are pregnant/breastfeeding women are being told to avoid peanuts, soft cheese, shellfish, steak, chicken, chocolate mousse, tea, coffee, gluten...

There's good reason to think that more than light drinking is bad for babies, but going for abstinence as a public health message seems too restrictive. And the "if you tell them a little is OK they'll go too far" feels too paternalistic to me.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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(Pyx_e provides an edifying mediation on sin, and motivation to go out in the rain and finish putting my bike back together. What a place, is this ship).

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(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Lamb Chopped
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We needn't be utterly paranoid, or assume the child's health is always in opposition to the mother's. Better for a stressed out mother to have the occasional small drink than for the baby to have to cope with a problematic feeding situation or a freaked out mother. (I doubt there are many people on Ship whose mothers did NOT ever, ever have a single drink during either pregnancy or nursing, and very few of us seem to have FAS.)

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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Ah but spicy bean salad never ruined anyone's life.

You've obviously never suffered from an inflammatory bowel disease

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha
... why risk a child's health because one cannot live without a pint or a shot for a few months?

I very specifically said that I was not talking about a pint or a shot; I was talking about six ounces of beer in twenty-four hours.

Moo

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Twilight

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Two, why risk a child's health because one cannot live without a pint or a shot for a few months?

I don't think there's any data supporting alcohol as a general remedy to support breastfeeding, but the problem with the very precautionary idea that you don't do anything which might have a theoretical risk is that before you know where you are pregnant/breastfeeding women are being told to avoid peanuts, soft cheese, shellfish, steak, chicken, chocolate mousse, tea, coffee, gluten...

There's good reason to think that more than light drinking is bad for babies, but going for abstinence as a public health message seems too restrictive. And the "if you tell them a little is OK they'll go too far" feels too paternalistic to me.

I really don't see anything too restrictive in warning pregnant and nursing mothers about any of the things listed. At least if warned they have the informed option. My mother never drank and I didn't drink at all while pregnant and nursing, I don't remember feeling deprived.

With such small families these days most women will only be restricting their choices for a year or two out of an eighty year life span. Not such a big hardship.

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cliffdweller
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I'm with Twilight on this, but will acknowledge the research is sketchy both ways, simply because there are ethical problems with doing a double-blind study of pregnant or nursing moms. We simply don't know how much alcohol is safe, and at what point in a pregnancy.

In addition to which it's really out of most of our fields of expertise. I'm happy to stick with the tried-and-true "this is something you might discuss with your OB/pediatrician..." But I would stick with my response to the original post that triggered the tangent: not all women who have given birth would agree that a bit of Guinness is a good thing. So again, discuss it with your health-care provider.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
At least if warned they have the informed option.

But it isn't an informed option, and there probably isn't the bandwidth to actually inform people about these issues. Take soft cheese. The information should really be;

quote:
Listeria is a very rare infection. About 100 to 200 cases are identified every year among the 65 million people living in the UK. Just under half of those are in pregnant women or their newborn children.

When listeria occurs in pregnancy, it can lead to a mild fever, or to meningitis or severe infection in the newborn baby.

Listeria is found in salads, soft cheese, meat and various other foods. There is no actual proof that people getting listeria have acquired it from any particular food, and the DNA tests of listeria found in food versus listeria causing disease in pregnancy does not clearly link these two populations.

To avoid listeria we could suggest you avoid salad, although actually it is probably very low in listeria counts, processed meat, although it is probably OK if well cooked, and soft cheese.

That's a lot of information to discuss over one very small risk. I'm not sure how proportionate it is to do that, and presumably then say "By the way don't smoke. That's a public health disaster in the UK leading to thousands of premature or small birth-weight children every year."

Putting soft-cheese and salad in a list of foods to avoid really isn't being given an informed option, it's an uninformed instruction.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
We simply don't know how much alcohol is safe, and at what point in a pregnancy.

This is true. But we can say with some confidence that if there is an effect of the kind of low-level alcohol consumption that Moo and I have mentioned, then the effect is small. I agree with you that we cannot say with any confidence that the effect is zero. We can't even say anything about the sign of such an effect, although it's hard to come up with a mechanism for a small amount of alcohol to be beneficial for a developing foetus, unless you're going with the less stressed mother thing.
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Gamaliel
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I'm sure it does vary from mother to mother.

My wife abstained from alcohol when pregnant but would drink a glass of Mann's, a rather weak stout similar to Guinness to aid lactation when breastfeeding.

It wasn't done to relieve stress or get a buzz but because she heard it helps lactating women to 'let down.'

Mann's is an 'old ladies' drink and not the sort of thing one would quaff. I only ever use it in beef stews.

I'm sure other women drink stout during lactation and don't find it helpful. My wife did. I'm sure not all women would.

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http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
We simply don't know how much alcohol is safe, and at what point in a pregnancy.

Likewise we don't know how much sugar is safe. Or fruit juice. Or how much caffeine is safe. The list goes on of substances that one could advise avoidance of.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
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Brenda Clough
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Which is why we should leave it to the mother. She, guided by her physician, her own state of health, cultural indications (the variety of practices around the world is amazingly huge and babies by and large seem to do fine) and her love for her baby, gets to decide.
We, the bystanders, get to mutter and tut, and admire how fat the baby is, the dumpling! and is that a first tooth coming? The magazines and websites get to chase after whatever is the Parenting Scare of the Week (plastics! wasps! fish! laundry detergents!) until the end of time, because it is endless. The state gets to butt out.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Which is why we should leave it to the mother.

So, when the mother shoots heroin, beats her child, starves her child, leaves it unattended. etc.: the state get to "butt out"?
quote:

She, guided by her physician, her own state of health, cultural indications (the variety of practices around the world is amazingly huge and babies by and large seem to do fine)

Mothers and doctors are not magical creatures with instinctive knowledge. This is why we have general standards.
Also, there is a large range that people exist in between perfectly healthy and dead. I might be the strange one here, but I think we should aim more towards the healthy.
quote:

and her love for her baby,

We do a lot of fucked up things to our children, and it isn't always out of hate. FGM isn't typically done out of animosity.

Alcohol is a poison. In moderate amounts it does not seem to be excessively detrimental to adults. This does not automatically translate to children.

Why risk it?


quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
We simply don't know how much alcohol is safe, and at what point in a pregnancy.

Likewise we don't know how much sugar is safe. Or fruit juice. Or how much caffeine is safe. The list goes on of substances that one could advise avoidance of.
That expectant mother's should be eating healthy, but mightn't, isn't a defence for doing something that is more likely to be harmful.

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Brenda Clough
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The beating, starving etc. are already against the law. It is illegal for your cat, never mind your baby.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
The beating, starving etc. are already against the law. It is illegal for your cat, never mind your baby.

That is my point. The state already "butts in" because we want it to do so. We already do not trust mum to do best.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

Why risk it?

It's interesting, isn't it, that "why take the risk?" seems to be the typical approach that the state takes when issuing diktats to other people, but when it would involve the state committing some of its own resources, it becomes "nobody has proved that tighter standards would have measurable benefit".

It's also worth noting the huge cultural aspect to many of these diktats: when Mrs. C was pregnant with our eldest, she was advised by her doctor to keep a large jar of peanut butter by the bed, and eat a spoonful before getting up in the morning, in order to help with morning sickness. Her schoolfriend, who was pregnant in the UK at the same time, was advised by her doctor to strictly avoid all peanut products.

Obviously the difference here is culture - peanut butter is a staple foodstuff in America - the PBJ is possibly the archetypal child's sandwich - whereas although peanut butter exists in the UK, it's not nearly so ubiquitous. If I were making sandwiches for UK children, peanut butter wouldn't make my top five possible fillings. It might not even make the top ten.

[ 03. August 2017, 17:05: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
It's interesting, isn't it, that "why take the risk?" seems to be the typical approach that the state takes when issuing diktats to other people, but when it would involve the state committing some of its own resources, it becomes "nobody has proved that tighter standards would have measurable benefit".

The convoluted dance between service, cost and private interest.
quote:

It's also worth noting the huge cultural aspect to many of these diktats: when Mrs. C was pregnant with our eldest, she was advised by her doctor to keep a large jar of peanut butter by the bed, and eat a spoonful before getting up in the morning, in order to help with morning sickness. Her schoolfriend, who was pregnant in the UK at the same time, was advised by her doctor to strictly avoid all peanut products.

Peanuts are an interesting question. They are often used in treating malnutrition because they are a very effective source of nutrients and calories. However, they are also a potent allergen.

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mdijon
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The other interesting thing about peanuts is that there is now some evidence that the precautionary approach of cutting them out was wrong.

Peanuts during pregnancy seems to reduce the risk of allergy in the infant.

It isn't really home and dry, but there is very good data that introducing peanuts in early childhood does reduce the risk of peanut allergy in later life.

Alcohol is a poison in excess, but so are salt and sugar. I don't think the state has any business giving precautionary advice that isn't backed by data, and it looks really odd when it picks on women and alcohol as the time to get especially precautionary.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The state already "butts in" because we want it to do so. We already do not trust mum to do best.

We do trust mum to do best, and we don't interfere until we have strong evidence to the contrary. There has to be a line so that the state isn't dictating to or advising mums (or fathers for that matter) based on whim, but on evidence and fact and levels of harm.

The state has a role in forcible rescuing an abused child and in nagging mothers and fathers not to expose their children to second hand cigarette smoke. But not in advising whatever unevidenced prohibition comes to mind.

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Twilight

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

I don't think the state has any business giving precautionary advice that isn't backed by data, and it looks really odd when it picks on women and alcohol as the time to get especially precautionary.

Doesn't seem odd to me at all. What you see as "picking on women," I see as a special interest in the health and protection of children. That's a prime value in almost all species. Most mothers, in particular, would rather be "picked on," than see their child ill.

How many English mothers, after being prescribed thalidomide by their doctors, would have liked to have been informed of the early negative data about it that was coming from Australia at the time.

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mdijon
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I don't see the logic that says because the state failed to insist on proper scrutiny of a drug company introducing a new drug for use in pregnancy, that therefore the state should now precautionarily advise against another substance.

Failing to act on data in the past shouldn't lead to acting on no data now.

[ 03. August 2017, 19:31: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
We simply don't know how much alcohol is safe, and at what point in a pregnancy.

This is true. But we can say with some confidence that if there is an effect of the kind of low-level alcohol consumption that Moo and I have mentioned, then the effect is small.
I think that is probably an overstatement. I don't think we can say that with any degree of confidence. We can say that large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can be quite detrimental-- but parsing out the implications is very, very tough to do.

And again, it's beyond my area of expertise and that of most (tho probably not all) on a board such as this. The best advice IMHO is to address dietary concerns during pregnancy with your OB and while nursing with your pediatrician.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
I don't see the logic that says because the state failed to insist on proper scrutiny of a drug company introducing a new drug for use in pregnancy, that therefore the state should now precautionarily advise against another substance.

Failing to act on data in the past shouldn't lead to acting on no data now.

But again, it's not "no data" there IS data, it's simply preliminary or incomplete data. There is real, verifiable data that excessive alcohol use during pregnancy causes real, measurable harm. It is reasonable to suppose that risk exists on a continuum from "no alcohol = no harm" to "excessive alcohol = considerable harm." What we don't know is the individual points along that continuum.


quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

Alcohol is a poison in excess, but so are salt and sugar. I don't think the state has any business giving precautionary advice that isn't backed by data, and it looks really odd when it picks on women and alcohol as the time to get especially precautionary.

Agree with the general principle, but I think the science is much more nuanced and not nearly as conclusive as you seem confident in suggesting. At this point the govt (at least in US) issues warnings but no prohibitions about alcohol use during pregnancy and nursing. That seems appropriate given the level of data available to us at this point in time.

[ 03. August 2017, 20:25: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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Curiosity killed ...

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I have worked with a number of teenagers who, although they have not been diagnosed as having foetal alcohol syndrome (I have worked with young people with that diagnosis too), were the children of drug and/or alcohol using mothers. These teenagers had a pattern of behaviour, including lack of ability to focus and ADHD that becomes recognisable when you've seen it enough. These youngsters also had an arrested emotional development.

Having seen this is enough to make me think twice about drinking should I be pregnant.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
These teenagers had a pattern of behaviour, including lack of ability to focus and ADHD that becomes recognisable when you've seen it enough. These youngsters also had an arrested emotional development.

Having seen this is enough to make me think twice about drinking should I be pregnant.

Well, if they have also been brought up by drug addicted parents; diet and upbringing while infants is also going to play very heavily into this.
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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha
Alcohol is a poison. In moderate amounts it does not seem to be excessively detrimental to adults. This does not automatically translate to children.

Why risk it?

Because without very small amounts of alcohol, some women can not manage to breastfeed.

Moo

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
These teenagers had a pattern of behaviour, including lack of ability to focus and ADHD that becomes recognisable when you've seen it enough. These youngsters also had an arrested emotional development.

Having seen this is enough to make me think twice about drinking should I be pregnant.

Well, if they have also been brought up by drug addicted parents; diet and upbringing while infants is also going to play very heavily into this.
Well, but the studies that have been done find these same symptoms among children removed from the home and adopted by non drug-addicted parents. I don't think you can dismiss the substantial evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome as a Real Thing. The problem again is we haven't mapped out what the impact of each point along the continuum from complete abstinence to heavy drinking might be. Which argues for a fairly light touch (again, warning vs prohibiting) but it also argues against the sort of confident overstatements that have been made here.

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Moo

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Fetal alcohol syndrome is a recognizable physical condition. As I mentioned upthread, I have seen a baby with FAS. Before I saw her, I had read a description of the physical symptoms of FAS; she had them.

Her face was unusually short and wide; her eyes were unusually far apart; and she lacked a philtrum She was born this way; her post-birth environment had nothing to do with it.

Moo

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
But again, it's not "no data" there IS data, it's simply preliminary or incomplete data. There is real, verifiable data that excessive alcohol use during pregnancy causes real, measurable harm.

Just like sugar then. But we don't advise pregnant women to avoid all sugar, just to avoid excessive sugar.

I don't think data on excessive alcohol use can be described as preliminary data on moderate alcohol use. In fact there are plenty of data examining moderate alcohol use and outcome, more of them in pregnancy rather than breastfeeding per se, and it is inconclusive. There are some studies that appear to show harm, and some that appear to show no effect. If anything it would be more correct to say that the incomplete data on alcohol is conflicting, rather than real measurable harm.

quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
but I think the science is much more nuanced and not nearly as conclusive as you seem confident in suggesting.

I'm not suggesting the science is conclusive, rather the opposite. It seems to me the burden of evidence and confidence is more on the side of the one wanting to act.

Having said that, we started talking about breastfeeding. The slight evidence of harm of moderate alcohol consumption among mothers seems mostly limited to the first 3 months of pregnancy to me. I personally would want to be more cautious during that period, see less reason for caution later on, and absolutely no evidence that moderate alcohol use during breastfeeding is harmful at all.

As Moo says the foetal alcohol syndrome is very real and very well described. It occurs with heavy alcohol consumption in the first three months of pregnancy. Linking that to advice to breastfeeding mothers is too broad a brush.

[ 03. August 2017, 21:44: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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Enoch
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I thought peanuts were very dangerous for small children. Is that no longer the case?

And I'm fairly sure that although alcohol is not recommended for pregnant women, FAS is caused by having a seriously alcoholic mother, and that a baby is unlikely to get it just because his or her mother had a few drinks before she realised she was expecting.

[ 03. August 2017, 21:59: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Curiosity killed ...

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These teenagers were being brought up by their fathers in the absence of their mothers, or by grandmothers, or in care. Some had stepmothers.

I am suggesting that foetal alcohol damage is not as simple as high levels of alcohol use leading to foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and moderate levels are fine, but that there is more of a continuum. That effects are observable from alcohol abuse while pregnant at lower than causing FAS. But that continuum is not quantified.

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Nicolemr
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Peanuts are very dangerous for small children because of the danger of choking on them. That is still a hazard. Peanut butter is a different issue.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
That effects are observable from alcohol abuse while pregnant at lower than causing FAS. But that continuum is not quantified.

Well there's quite a lot of data for and against that idea, a fair amount of it against. Even with large cohorts it doesn't seem easy to define.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Peanuts are very dangerous for small children because of the danger of choking on them. That is still a hazard. Peanut butter is a different issue.

Thanks, yes the allergy trial I mentioned was done with peanut-crisps, with smooth peanut butter for the children who didn't get on with the crisps.

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