The mummy drinking culture –a bit of fun or is it hiding a worrying trend?
In recent years, the rise of the obsession with Prosecco and Gin has again largely been driven by the female consumer.
Alongside this there has been a new trend, which is being fed and nurtured by social media.
What started as memes about hitting the gin when the kids have gone to bed, has developed into a whole culture and market of mummy-drinking related gift products. There’s even a best-selling book!
So why does this matter?
On one hand, this can be taken as a harmless bit of fun. We certainly don’t want to vilify women because they enjoy a drink, or make them feel like they should be ashamed of enjoying a glass of wine. But we do maybe need to consider the underlying message behind some of this ‘fun’.
Being a parent is stressful and is this saying that drinking copious amounts of wine or gin is an acceptable way of coping with this stress?
Is the ‘normalising’ of drinking (often in large amounts) as an accepted reaction to getting through the day a helpful one?
If we replaced gin with super-strength beer, would the message be quite so light hearted?
Understanding safe drinking levels
By normalising drinking as a daily stress reliever, safe weekly alcohol consumption levels can easily become overlooked.
The UK Chief Medical Officer’s advice is that both women and men should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week to keep health risks from alcohol low.
If you choose to drink this amount it is better to spread this over a number of days, rather than binge drink in one session, but with home measures of alcohol easily exceeding ‘standard’ measures, going over this amount is easy to do.
If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption, have a look at our alcohol detox section.
How alcohol affects women differently
Even though the recommended weekly alcohol levels are now the same for men and women (men’s have been reduced), there are differences in the way alcohol affects women and men.
If a man and woman drink the same amount, the woman’s alcohol level will almost certainly be higher than the man. There are several reasons for this:
- The woman will tend to be smaller than the man so it is the same amount of alcohol going into a smaller body
- BUT, even if the man and woman are the SAME SIZE, alcohol is held in the body in body water rather than body fat, and women have a lower percentage of body water (because they have a higher percentage of body fat) so with less water, the alcohol is more concentrated
So, understanding how much is a safe level is important as it looking for other ways to help deal with the stresses of modern parenting and life without turning to alcohol.