By Angeliz Venter
A few weekends ago one of our friends asked me if I missed “the romance” of sitting with a glass of red wine and just relaxing… and that is when I realized that, that is exactly what I missed about drinking wine, not necessarily the alcohol content, but the romance of it!
As an avid wine drinker in the past, sitting down after a difficult day, pouring myself a glass of wine and feeling the stress of the day melt away, was one of the best things a drink could do for me! I always thought it is the alcohol content that gave me that relaxed feeling and maybe to some extent it was and that always made me feel guilty to a degree for enjoying wine that much. But recently I tried one of Zero Wines dealcoholized red wines from Norah’s Valley and I felt the exact same sense of release as soon as I poured myself a glass and sat down to relax.
Being 36 weeks pregnant, I often miss the social aspects around having an alcoholic drink and I think it is the same dynamic with having a glass of wine, even if it is dealcoholized. My experience might be different from what other people and especially pregnant women experience, but as soon as I had my glass of dealcoholized wine in front of me, I relaxed and with the first sip, it almost felt like I was drinking normal wine! I do believe that a big part of this sensation is captured mentally and it is not necessarily physical, as long as it is in a wine glass and taste as close to wine as possible. During my pregnancy, I’ve tried my fair share of alcohol free and dealcoholized drinks and even drinking apple juice with sparkling juice in a beer glass, but the Velvet Red from Norah’s Valley really did taste like the real thing!
During my pregnancy, I’ve seen pregnant women enjoy a glass of wine and I’ve also been getting a lot of feedback from people saying I am too strict with what I don’t consume, but one thing that was non-negotiable for me was the use of alcohol before we got pregnant and during my pregnancy. I wanted to prepare my body for pregnancy and I got educated on the risks of using alcohol during pregnancy. That being said, if you are a pregnant woman having an occasional glass of wine, there is no judgement and each woman should do what she feels is best for herself and her baby.
When you drink alcohol during pregnancy, the alcohol content passes through your placenta, directly to your baby and your baby is not equipped currently to be able to process the alcohol, because the liver is one of the last organs to develop and it can have devasting effects on your unborn child.
Associated risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy:
• Increased risk of miscarriage
• Premature birth
• A low birth weight
• You baby can develop foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which has the following implications:
1. Problems with learning and behaviour
2. Weak joints, bones, muscles and organs
3. Difficulty managing emotions and developing social skills
4. Hyperactivity and minimum impulse control
5. Problems with communication and speech
6. Susceptibility to seizures
7. Impaired hearing
After knowing all these risks, the decision to not consume any alcohol was easy for me, but there are also benefits in drinking wine, especially red wine that needs to be considered and THAT is exactly why I love Zero Wines. You can still get all the benefits of drinking wine; without the risks it imposes to you and your baby. One of these benefits is the decrease in your risk of having cardiovascular diseases. De-alcoholized red wine consists of the same level of polyphenols than alcoholic red wine, this is the antioxidants that reduce your blood pressure and prevent cancerous, inflammatory and neurodegenerative illnesses.
Here are some of the benefits of de-alcoholized and non-alcoholic wines:
• Lowers blood pressure
• Reduces blood clots
• Lowers low-density (LDL) cholesterol
• Slows the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson Disease
• Has anti-diabetic potential
• Fewer calories
• Helps with common cold
Taking everything into account, there is a lot of things to consider when choosing your go to drink for special occasions (or just every day) during your pregnancy. For me it was an easy choice, that I will continue during my pregnancy and possibly breastfeeding and Zero Wines makes it even easier with a wide variety of different wines ranging from red wines to sparkling wines. You can order directly from them at https://www.zerowines.co.za/ and they offer quick and efficient delivery nationwide.