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Delhi Wine Club
Canadian Ad against Wine for Pregnant Women Criticized

Posted: Saturday, 20 September 2014 11:15

Canadian Ad against Wine for Pregnant Women Criticized

Sep 20: A Poster Ad released by LCBO- the Canadian Monopoly in Ontario to warn against drinking wine during pregnancy by featuring a naked woman holding a sign through which her pregnant belly is shown surrounded by the word “LOVE” with the tagline “Love your body, love your baby. Don’t drink while pregnant” has been challenged by a woman as offensive and wrong on many levels

The bottom of the poster released by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) says, ‘Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are birth defects that are 100% preventable. The Ads were displayed in several shops in partnership with FASworld Canada, an organisation set up to prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The campaign ran from August 25 to September 12.

Finding the Ad offensive, Laura Jamer, a Toronto mother of two kids, posted her comments on her Facebook page and after getting a positive response, she decided to complain officially to them. Her basic grouse is that there is no study that has shown an occasional glass of wine to be harmful to the child and finds it offensive to the dignity of pregnant mothers by making them feel guilty.

“I thought the message behind it was very condescending and that it implied if you have a glass of wine, it meant you didn’t love your body, and it meant you didn’t love your baby, which is really what I take issue with,” she told the Canadian Global News. “It’s the way that this is put forward.”

“There’s no research to show that light drinking is bad, yet there’s research to show that it’s good, and still there’s this campaign out there to make mothers feel guilty,” she said.

“Not only that, it encourages the general public to shame and judge mothers who are having a glass of wine, like that Toronto waiter recently who refused to serve someone who was pregnant. That made me so angry…to blame and guilt women who just want to enjoy a glass of wine and who have done their research and know there’s no ill effect to doing that.”

Jamer would ideally like the poster to be changed. “I think what they had in place before and still have in place-those little pictures of a woman touching her belly, saying: Drinking while pregnant ‘may’ harm your baby is fine. And the operative word there being- may.’

LCBO has defended the campaign by saying that it was meant to create an awareness in pregnant mothers about the harm alcohol could cause to the baby and was not intended to be offensive to the sensitivity of women. The campaign for this year is over and there is no word if it will be carried next year.

Among many similar studies, a British study had tracked the health of over 10,000 mothers of 7-year olds last year. It was found that there was no difference between the kids whether their mothers drank or abstained from alcohol at the time they were pregnant. The study even suggested that boys born to light drinkers had slightly fewer behavioural problems and higher reading skills.

The medical opinion generally varies from “There is no safe amount or safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy or when planning to be pregnant” to “an occasional drink is not going to cause severe damage”.  A video shown on the Global News website shows a doctor warning against the use totally.

DelWine recommends that pregnant women should consult their gynaecologists but most well-informed doctors and most studies would indicate that two glasses a week, not on two consecutive days and preferably spread over 4 sessions are quite safe and this would be our continued recommendation provided they get their doctor to endorse it.

We have published several articles about various studies in the past. To view them all, please Google Search our website For a few out of the several studies in delWine, please visit:

Study Condones Wine during Pregnancy
Study: Moderate Drinking may not Harm Pregnancy
Confusing UK Study OKs daily glass of wine for pregnancies

Subhash Arora

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Tags: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), Laura Jamer, may


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