Husband Says His Pregnant Wife Refuses To Stop Drinking & He Doesn't Know What To Do

pregnant drinking

Pretty much as soon as expectant parents learn that a baby is on the way, they'll memorize a laundry list of do's and absolute don'ts. Among the latter is the oft-discussed guidance on alcohol use during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant, and there is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink. That said, it's easy to understand why a father-to-be on Reddit is expressing concern about his pregnant wife's drinking habits.

  • The self-identified 31-year-old man took to the Relationship Advice subreddit to say that his 29-year-old wife "won't stop drinking."

    "My wife is 6 weeks pregnant," wrote the original poster (OP). "It's unplanned but we decided to keep it. She's still drinking even though she's pregnant. She drinks multiple glasses of wine sometimes, and sometimes stronger alcohol (vodka, whisky, etc.). I've stopped buying any, but she gets it herself."

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  • The OP explained that his wife's OB echoed the CDC's guidance: No alcohol at all.

    But apparently, the doctor "says that if she wants to drink, it should be no more than a glass of wine or one beer a day, no hard liquor. My wife ignores this rule."

  • "I’ve tried reasoning with her, and she just spews, 'My body, my choice,'" according to the OP.

    The beleaguered husband wrote that he doesn't know what to do. In fact, he has even asked his partner to end the pregnancy if she "isn't going to try" to keep their child safe. And he noted, "My brother has FAS [fetal alcohol syndrome], and I know how terrible it is."

  • He confessed that "at this point," he's "hoping" for a pregnancy loss.

    "I don't know what I can even do," the OP concluded. "I want to get a divorce, but I think she would drink even more if I wasn't here."

  • Redditors pointed out that there are options for a partner of someone who appears to have a drinking problem.

    "She's an alcoholic. I suggest you get in contact with Al-Anon which is for the friends and family of alcoholics," wrote one commenter.

    "I also think you should contact her [general practitioner] with this information," the person continued. "It may impact the treatment she needs, and they may also be able to encourage her towards rehab. There is a higher chance your child may be born with FAS as well. If she is still drinking heavily by the birth, my advice is to divorce and seek full custody, with her having supervised access only."

    Another person echoed that sentiment, writing, "Well that's alcoholism, brother. Contact her doctor, and get her into treatment. Doing nothing and waiting for a damaged child to be born, THEN bailing would make you evil beyond belief. Act now to save your soul."

  • Other commenters encouraged the OP to take a different tact than nudging her toward treatment immediately.

    "You could look up fetal alcohol syndrome and share your concern with her, but in my experience, trying to force someone who is struggling with addiction issues, particularly when they don't self identify, doesn't work," someone wrote. "Keeping an alcohol diary is a good first step to breaking through the denial. Often people will be fooling themselves about how much they drink/use. Then maybe talking therapy to look at why she's drinking. I would hazard a guess at some past trauma. Good luck."

    Another person wondered about treading cautiously.

    "I'm sorry you're going through this. You can talk to her but I think you've already tried it. I don't know how much divorce will help apart from getting you completely out of the situation. Might I suggest supporting her? Insane, it may sound, but it's pretty clear she's an alcoholic and is going through a lot of issues," the person wrote.

    The person continued:

    "Pregnancy does a weird number on a woman. I do not mean support her drinking, I mean just supporting her. Tell her you're there for her. You're there for the both of you and you will take care of everything. You cannot understand what she's going through but you would try to make it easy for her, if she wants to keep the baby. Also, see if she can go to therapy for her alcoholism. It's such a difficult thing you're going through, but it's also difficult for her. She's clearly not in the right state of mind."

  • The bottom line: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy -- especially in the first few months -- can lead to heartbreaking health challenges.

    The CDC has noted that drinking in the first three months of pregnancy can cause the baby to have abnormal facial features, and growth and central nervous system problems (e.g., low birthweight, behavioral problems) can occur from drinking alcohol anytime during pregnancy. Brain development can also be affected by exposure to alcohol at any time. The agency has concluded that the sooner an expectant mother stops drinking, the better it will be for both the baby and the mother.

    Partners or loved ones who are worried that their loved one might have a drinking problem can seek help through Al-Anon.