A Woman’s Journey Through Pregnancy and Social Drinking

A Woman’s Journey Through Pregnancy and Social Drinking: When a woman who is known for her social drinking gets pregnant, the shift in her behavior can be both challenging and eye-opening. This was the case for Katrina Sanders, a dental hygienist and speaker, who faced the complex dynamics of social drinking while keeping her pregnancy under wraps.

Pregnancy and Social Drinking: The Sudden Shift

Imagine being at a lively gathering with friends, hearing the laughter and clinking glasses, but you’re holding a club soda with a spritz of lime instead of your usual drink. It’s not just about the beverage; it’s about feeling like an outsider in a familiar circle. This experience can be isolating, and for Katrina, it meant reevaluating her social interactions.

Katrina, known in her professional circles as the “Dental Winegenist,” had ingeniously combined her expertise in clinical education with wine tasting to create memorable events. This unique blend of learning and leisure set her apart, making her sessions highly sought after. But when she suspected she was pregnant, she had to stop drinking, leading to an unexpected challenge: how to navigate social and professional settings without raising suspicions.

Pregnancy and Social Drinking: The Pressure of Secrecy

For 2 ½ months, Katrina kept her pregnancy a secret. During this time, she faced constant questions about her sudden abstinence from alcohol. This situation highlighted a broader issue: the deep-rooted presence of alcohol in professional settings. Networking events, client dinners, and team celebrations often revolve around drinking, making it hard for anyone abstaining, especially a pregnant woman, to fit in without revealing her personal news.

Realizations and Adjustments

Katrina continued to host her popular programs but felt a disconnect without participating in the wine tasting. This experience led her to a significant realization: her sense of inclusion was heavily tied to alcohol, something she could no longer partake in. This wasn’t the first time Katrina had to navigate dietary restrictions; she also has Celiac Disease and avoids gluten. However, the absence of inclusive non-alcoholic options was a new challenge.

Katrina’s experience made her more conscious of others who, for various reasons, do not consume alcohol. She recognized the need for better non-alcoholic options that still offered an adult and special feel, allowing everyone to feel included.

Creating Inclusive Environments

Whether you drink or not, fostering an inclusive social environment in professional settings is crucial. Here are some tips:

  1. Advocate for Non-Alcoholic Options:
    • Ensure business events include a variety of adult non-alcoholic beverages. Water and soda aren’t enough. Look for menus with zero-proof cocktails or mocktails. When planning events, consider renaming them from “happy hour” to “social hour,” sending a welcoming message to non-drinkers.
  2. Suggest Alternative Activities:
    • Move beyond the usual “let’s grab a drink” invitation. Propose activities like coffee meet-ups, dessert outings, or engaging in unique activities such as ax-throwing or pottery painting. For the health-conscious, suggest morning yoga, evening walks, or gym sessions.

By creating an environment that offers alternatives to drinking, we can ensure everyone feels included and comfortable, regardless of their reasons for abstaining.

Pregnancy and Social Drinking: Final Thoughts

Katrina’s journey through her pregnancy highlighted the often-overlooked reliance on alcohol in social and professional settings. By recognizing and addressing this, we can create more inclusive and supportive environments. Whether it’s offering non-alcoholic drinks or suggesting alternative social activities, small changes can make a big difference.

What are your thoughts on creating more inclusive social environments in professional settings? Have you faced similar challenges? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

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