Gwyneth and her Guinness sparks controversy

03/30/2006 at 11:07 PM ET

By auditioning contributor Kristin:

Gwynethpaltrow15 Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin were spotted at hip Lower East Side sushi bar Cube 63 on Tuesday night. Gwyneth, who is expecting their second child in about 5 weeks, was reportedly drinking a bottle of Guinness – which her rep confirms. A witness at the restaurant said that Gwyneth was receiving stares from the other people who were eating, and that she tried to "melt" into the corner as they looked and waved at her.

I did some research on this particular type of brew, and found a website that has some FAQ’s. Guinness did not make any sort of statement saying that their beer was safe for pregnant mothers. However, when asked if Guinness was "good for you", the answer was this: "Its alcohol is low enough to have a relaxing effect. The bottle-conditioned product may produce a mild laxative effect due to the live yeast….There is medical folklore about Guinness and stout, in general. In some countries, stout is seen as an aphrodisiac, or as a beneficial bath for newborn babies."

CBB reader Suzanne emails, "My hubby lived in Germany for 10+ years. He knew pregnant moms whose docs prescribed a pint of Guinness per day and all the babies were healthy as could be. Hubby’s mom drank a pint herself each day, during each of her five pregnancies. All of her babies were healthy as clams."

Click the extended post for more info.

Thanks to CBB readers Bridget, Stacy, Christina, Lianne, Santress, Tiffanie, and Mary Beth.

Source: NY Daily News and Guinness Fact and Folklore

Some doctors have been known to tell pregnant mothers that they are allowed one alcoholic beverage, once in a while. I know when I was pregnant with my daughter, my doctor told me it was safe to have an occasional glass of wine. Gwyneth is a known vegetarian, and has said in previous interviews that she likes her daughter Apple to eat healthily. It could be possible that Gwyneth got the okay from her doc about the Guinness. Here are two other questions asked on the website:

Q. What about the old wives tale about nursing mothers drinking Guinness?

A: Current medical research suggests that pregnant women and nursing mothers should totally abstain from any form of alcoholic beverage. In pregnancy, it can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, characterized by slow development. Alcohol does pass in the mother’s milk, so nursing mothers should avoid Guinness and any other form of alcohol. I have received numerous comments from readers that I am being overly cautious and that Guinness is still given to nursing mothers in Ireland and brown ale to mothers in Belgium.

Q. Guinness has been dispensed in hospitals, correct?

A. Yes. In England, post-operative patients used to be given Guinness, as were blood donors. Sadly, this is no longer the case in England. In Ireland, Guinness is still made available to blood donors and stomach and intestinal post-operative patients. Guinness is known to be high in iron content.

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Showing 18 comments

Yeehauser on

My Dr. also said it was okay to have an occasional glass of wine or beer during the last month of my pregnancies. This was especially true as both of my children were over nine pounds and each was 22 inches. By my last 6 weeks of the pregnancies I had a ton of trouble sleeping and my hips were killing me, so my Dr. thought it would be ok to have the wine or beer to help me relax. This may have been the case with Gwyneth as Apple was a very big baby…

Tequilamonky on

I was told to drink the occassional Guinness towards the end of pregnancy and after as stout helps boost milk production.

Dazzlar on

If she was giving the Guiness to Apple Martin(i) then I would care but not about this!! Whose to say this wasn’t her first beer during the entire pregnancy?

No one’s business but hers!

Jennifer on

Well, regardless of whether it’s “safe” or not for the fetus to have a beer at the end of one’s pregnancy, if I were in her position as a public person, I wouldn’t do it – simply for the fact that I wouldn’t want my kid to come to me 20 years later after doing an Internet search finding out his/her mom was drinking alcohol while he/she was in the womb…if I found out my mom had done that when she was pregnant with me, I’d be giving her hell – “gee, thanks mom, no wonder i’m screwed up!” (smile)…I just wouldn’t want to give my future kid that ability to argue with me when he/she grows up! At any rate, I think if numerous doctors advised her it was ok, then it’s not a big deal…I just wouldn’t do so in public so it wouldn’t spark controversy!

Autumn on

Oh probably her doctor, and no doubt Chris’ granny, okayed a bit of Guiness for her if she wanted it.

The only problem today, versus 20 years ago is that the media is so much more evasive, so as soon as a celebrity does something questionable (such as drink alcohol or supposedly eat sushi during pregnancy) it’s spread like wildfire over the internet.

I doubt that a little bit of Guinness would harm the baby, as long as he doesn’t constantly partake (which I doubt she does.) Plus who knows what her mom, or even Chris’ mom, did when they were pregnant with either of them? 😉

Dazzlar on

Why because she is famous does she have to stop living her life the way she wants to? She’s never been one to court the publicity and I think this is a real invasion of her privacy.
We’ve really become so pathetic in our quest to know these people intimately that just about everything they do ends up becoming controversial (or even remotely interesting!!)

If in fact you were drinking Guiness Gwyneth, cheers to you and the wee bairn!!

tink1217 on

I guarantee if Britney had done this everyone would be crucifying her here!! Gwyneth is great. I love her as an actress and a mom. Comparing her and Britney is like apples and oranges, I know. But, they are both celebrities and under the public scrutiny. Why aren’t more people outraged over this. Personally, I know a single glass of wine or beer isn’t going to cause fetal alcohol symdrome, so whatever she wants to do. I am sure she hasn’t drank anything like that until now. Most women nowadays know better.

Yeehauser on

Not to be starting a debate between Gwyneth and Britney, but I feel that Britney was actually endangering her child by not putting him in his car seat. I’m sure her pediatrician didn’t give the ok to sit him on her lap while driving. On the other hand, I agree that this Gwyneth’s business and whether she chooses to drink in public is hers. Finally, at least Gwyneth “owned up” to what she did and I feel that Britney was trying to dance around the issue.

lifesakabernet on

I was diagnosed with Anemia during my last trimester and my Doc told me that Guinness would totally boost my iron levels. I also drank moderate amounts of red wine during my last trimester with the go ahead from my doc.

tink1217 on

Did I miss where it said anything about her owning up to it?? The Guinness, I mean?? I know comparing the car seat thing is apples and oranges. I wasn’t comparing that. I was just comparing two celebs and the way they are portayed in the media. Gwyneth drinks a beer during pregnancy, everyone says “good for her’ but if Britney were to drink a Guinness during her pregnancy I KNOW everyone would be saying, :How could she endanger her child’s life like that!! What a terrible mother!”. It’s just a fact. I don’t care what either of them do, I was just making an observation.

plantain on

We all know what it is like to get unsolicited advice while pregnant (I had one cruster-hippy at an organic grocers berate me for using my cell phone) So imagine what it would be like to be in the public eye to the degree that Gwyneth Paltrow is…
I’m irish and my mum was also prescribed Guinness when she was pregnant with me…
While I was pregnant with my now 5 month old son I didn’t really partake at all in alcohol (a sip every now and then). Previously I was an avid enjoyer of Guinness…and I believe that a pint every now and then.. especially in the last month or so is completely not harmful… Good for her.. it shows she’s got good taste.

ColleenS on

Tink1217, Gwyneth’s “people” did admit that she drank the Guinness. The statement also said that she did not eat sushi.

krewcat on

First thing I thought of when I read this was “well if it was britney I bet people would be calling her every name in the book!” There is a difference between how each are portrayed in the media….and I dont care for either one really.

Stacey on

My doc recommended Guiness too.

spindoctor on

I really can’t imagine any ob/gyn actually recommending alcohol in any form for a pregnant mother. I have 3 little ones and wouldn’t have risked it with any of them. I have friends whose doctors said it was probably ok in the 3rd trimester to have a bit, but I just can’t see taking that chance. There are plenty of other sources of iron available. And you can drink after the baby is born and breast feeding is done.

Alecia on

I am American and my doctor here prescribed a glass of wine or beer each day. I had an irritable uterus (basically, I contracted for the last 3 months of my pregnancy) and the little bit of alcohol would calm the uterine muscle down.

I do remember having a glass of wine out with my husband and having to stare down all the gawkers. Let’s be a little more open-minded about this. You never know what the situation is.

tink1217 on

Thanks Colleen. I didn’t see it.

Shawnee on

Drinking during BFing is ok in moderation, educate yourself before you post an article about things you know nothing about. Update with recent research.