Friday 31 October 2008

Why yes, I will have a splash of wine with dinner ….

or a micro-brewed beer from the local ale crafters, said the pregnant woman.
All of you busybodies out there, you can choke back your ill-advised counsel to her. According to this recent study, the occasional glass of wine or pint of beer will not damage her fetus.

The University College London team asked mothers about how much alcohol they had drunk during pregnancy when their babies were nine months old. Light drinking was classed as ranging from one drink every so often to two drinks per week, while moderate drinking was between three and six units per week or three to five per one occasion. Heavy drinking was regarded as seven or more units per week or at least six per occasion. …

The researchers then went back when the children were three to ask about their behaviour and understanding. The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, found boys born to light drinkers were 40% less likely to have conduct problems and 30% less likely to be hyperactive than those whose mothers had abstained. They also scored more highly on vocabulary tests and on identifying colours, shapes, letters and numbers. Girls born to light drinkers were 30% less likely to have emotional problems than those born to abstainers, although the researchers say this could be due to family and social backgrounds. ....

Dr Yvonne Kelly, the epidemiologist who led the study, said: “Our research has found that light drinking by pregnant mothers does not increase the risk of behavioural problems and cognitive defects. “The reasons behind these findings might in part be because light drinkers tend to be more socially advantaged than abstainers, rather than being due to the physical benefits of low level alcohol consumption seen, for example, in heart disease.” …

Dr Kelly added: “Our study’s findings do raise questions as to whether the current push for policy to recommend complete abstinence during pregnancy is merited and suggest that further research needs to be done.”

Most of us who were pregnant and had babies before this current hysteria around alcohol consumption during gestation always knew that.
Originally published at Birth Pangs.

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