twitter facebook stumble upon rss

It's Okay to Drink While Pregnant, New Study Finds

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This
pregdrink.jpg

Drinking one or two glasses of alcohol per week during pregnancy doesn't have negative effects on the child, a University College London study finds. Researchers studied 12,495 three-year-old children and their mothers' drinking habits during pregnancy and assessed the effects on their children.

"Our research has found that light drinking by pregnant mothers does not increase the risk of behavioural difficulties or cognitive deficits. Indeed, for some behavioural and cognitive outcomes, children born to light drinkers were less likely to have problems compared to children of abstinent mothers, although children born to heavy drinkers were more likely to have problems compared to children of mothers who drank nothing whilst pregnant," explained Dr Yvonne Kelly, lead author of the study.

The data also showed that boys born to light drinkers had higher vocabulary test scores and could more easily identify colors, shapes, numbers and letters compared to those who's mothers didn't drink. Girls born to light drinkers were 30% less likely to have emotional issues and peer problems compared to those born to abstainers.

Dr. Kelly adds, "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."

Read more hot stories Moms Are Talking About.


next: ML's Ultimate Halloween Costume Contest!
31 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 31, 2008, 3:01 PM

This really worries me. First off what one considers “light” drinking may actually be heavy to others. My aunt is an alcoholic but says she only has 2 drinks a day. Yeah 2 drinks in one of those 50 oz insulated mugs! She uses 1/2 bottle of crown in each drink. I also think it could be dangerous to imply that there could be benefits to drinking while pregnant. There is no way to know what is the right amount to drink. Everyone’s metabolism and chemical make up is different. The effects can not be predicted on the fetus. I had a friend who did some heavy drugs when she was pregnant (before she found out) and her daughter had no harm…does that mean that pregnant women should do drugs? NO! I think that it is not too much for a pregnant woman to refrain from drinking for 40 weeks to help give their baby every chance of being developmentally ok. I think the don’t drink during pregnancy policy is the best.

Marsha V. October 31, 2008, 3:42 PM

My adoptive children with fetal alcohol effects have not all developed the behavioral and learning problems until after the age of 3. Often the issues are far more prevalent due to lack of pre-frontal lobe development in the brain, which happens as children grow. This part of the brain develops later than 3 years old.

And besides how many more studies have shown problems with alcohol and pregnancy? Far more studies show do not drink to keep from having children with fetal alcohol problems.

Coco Lopez October 31, 2008, 3:51 PM

Odds are the correlation between abstainers and lower IQ of the child is related to abstinence of the parents being due to religiosity. Did they test the abstaining parents for low IQ and learning disabilities to factor that out?

Dr D E October 31, 2008, 3:54 PM

The headline is totally irresponsible and likely since many people don’t actually read to know the facts , will for obvious reasons cause future deleterious effects.

Anonymous October 31, 2008, 3:55 PM

I choose to abstain from alcohol when I am pregnant, BUT I also recognize the fact that women in Europe (for example) do casually drink a glass of wine here or there with no ill effects.

I don’t believe an occasional beer and or glass or wine is at all detrimental.

Carrie October 31, 2008, 3:56 PM

European guidelines have long allowed for moderate drinking while pregnant. Many of my relatives over there have had drinks while pregnant with no ill effects. I’ve heard that the complete abstainance approach employed in the United States is due to a disbelief that American women can handle their own alcohol intake and some doctors thought it easier to just tell everyone to lay off altogether.

David October 31, 2008, 4:29 PM

The complete abstinence approach in the US is because of that woman who sued the liquor company because they didn’t tell her that drinking a quart of hard liquor every day would cause birth defects. Now nobody wants to recommend any drinking for fear of being sued.

Anonymous October 31, 2008, 4:55 PM

To headline that “drinking while pregnant is okay” is completely irresponsible reporting.

To say that “children born to light drinkers were less likely to have problems compared to children of abstinent mothers” is simply untrue. There is a mass of scientific literature showing that alcohol consumption during pregnancy alters basic brain development. Abnormal development of physical structures in the brain such as the hippocampus and corpus callosum has been widely documented. Recent articles report smaller brain regions related to verbal and spatial development (J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2008 Nov;14(6):1022) and learning defects (Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2008 Fall;15(3):e411). Numerous articles report on the adverse effects of drinking while pregnant.

Drinking while pregnant is not okay and has a larger risk of significantly altering your child’s mental health than not.




Anonymous October 31, 2008, 6:56 PM

I guess an “occasional” glass of wine here and there wouldn’t hurt, but overall I think the potential risks outweigh the benefits. Having 1-2 glasses can lead to a slippery slope where you could potentially drink more…and besides, I personally couldn’t drink even if I tried while pregnant…I usually love a glass of wine with dinner, but during my 2 entire pregnancies, the smell of alcohol just turned me off.

ashley November 1, 2008, 9:07 AM

Don’t you all remember or have seen pictures of pregnant women back in like the 40’s and 50’s smoking and drinking because they didn’t know any better?? Our parents turned out ok. Not that I’m saying it’s ok but an occasional glass of wine won’t hurt.

Anonymous November 1, 2008, 10:08 AM

Ashley there are probably way more cases than you are aware of that did not turn out ok. Besides, it was not the norm for women to drink and smoke back then. It isn’t like all the moms on the block were smoking and drinking it up. There was also a higher rate of fetal death then too. Could the 2 be related. BTW back then they didn’t use carseats or seatbelts…does that mean we don’t need them now? No. You live and learn right?

Anonymous November 1, 2008, 2:06 PM

I find this refreshing. I am pregnant and have decided to play it safe and not drink while pregnant. However, when I’m not pregnant I do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then - meaning every two weeks or so. It seems to me that we are the only country in the history of the world to recommend complete abstinence while pregnant. Every other culture in the history of the world has accepted it in moderation and they’re more healthy than we are here in America.

A glass of red wine has tremendous health benefits (that cannot all be obtained through simply fruit juice - many of the benefits occur as a result of the fermentation process.) There has been no research on the nutrients in wine going to a fetus, so who is to say that a developing fetus doesn’t gain from these benefits?

stacy November 2, 2008, 12:55 PM

My doctor told me that an occasional glass of RED (not white) wine, is ok while you’re pregnant. You should wait until after the 1st trimester when most of the developmental process is taking place with the baby, but after that if you have a small glass of red wine with dinner, the negative effects are next to nothing. The tiny tiny tiny amount of alcohol that even reaches the baby is not enough to harm them, and the red wine is actually good for your blood flow and circulation. People who have problems with controlling their drinking or are alcoholics obviously should not even have 1 because they may not be able to control themselves, but only you know how you can handle it, and I personally have had 3 glasses of wine this pregnancy, I’m 30 weeks right now. I’m not worried =)

Maydee November 13, 2008, 8:00 AM

I think this study and the people who conducted it must have been drunk. Why in the world would you even consider drinking or supporting the fact that a pregnant woman that drinks “lightly” wouldn’t harm her unborn child. WAKE UP! If drinking isn’t harmful, then we wouldn’t have a bunch of retards like yourselves trying to prove otherwise!

Butterfly  November 19, 2008, 11:46 PM

Okay I have a concern! My best friend is 20 weeks pregant. On her 21st birthday we all went out and she had 3 alcholic drinks for her birthday. She hasn’t drinked the entire time of her pregnacy except that once, could that hurt her baby.

Millie December 7, 2008, 1:02 PM

OMG! All of you that think drinking a glass of red wine not white blah blah is okay YOU ARE ALL SO VERY WRONG. I work with FASD children and let me tell you, drinking during your pregnancy can have lifelong consequences. The brain is developing throughout the pregnancy and some of you think drinking would be okay. You are so uneducated with this. You should be ashamed of yourselves for drinking while pregnant. Everything you consume your unborn child consumes. IGNORANCE!

anonymous December 11, 2008, 2:51 PM

Millie, calling people names and slamming their opinions is SO VERY WRONG and IGNORANT yourself. You may not agree but don’t sit there and bash others for what they do believe. There is no scientific evidence that a glass of wine here and there causes FAS, the fact is they don’t know how much might be too much which is why they stay “Stay Away” and that is a fact. A glass of wine a few times throughout the pregnancy compared to many cocktails are 2 different things and anyone with a brain would know the difference and I am guessing that women who are giving birth to FAS babies did not have a couple of glasses of wine during their pregnancies, but rather many “cocktails”. There is a difference, believe it or not. My doctor said it was fine to have one glass here or there with food, so are you telling me you know more than my doctor? I didn’t see a “DR” before you name.

Rhonda December 19, 2008, 11:31 AM

I agree that the headline is completely irrisponsible and that abstinance IS best just to be on the safe side. There is too much conflicting evidence showing the consequences in drinking while pregnant. I agree the make up of each person is different and may effect one where it will not someone else, who wants to take that chance? I as well agree that the IQ scoring is obsolete without having tested the parents for their IQ scores before denoting the fact, low IQ scores in these babies are caused from drinking or not drinking. I think the baby is most important and no amount of alcohol is worth the risk.

Emma December 25, 2008, 9:42 PM

Wow..Brave Doctor for posting that article…Methinks she’s set herself up for a whole lotta trouble there though!
I am a Health proffessional, (a Registered Nurse studying to be a Doctor), but I am also a pretty average Aussie…Ie, I REALLY enjoy drinking, smoking, and…..long ago….drugs! I would love nothing more than to be reassured by a fellow HP that drinking while pregga’s is OK, (I am currently 31 wks pregnant), but I cannot help but be rather doubtful. Of major concern to me, (re the article), is that one of the first things we are taught at uni is to, (as a general rule..Obviously there are exceptions), double the amount of alcohol, ciggies and drugs that a client,(patient), states they consume,. Eg, if a client told me they drink 4 units of etoh per day I’d generally assume they actually drank 6-8, partly owing to accidental ignorance of “a standard drink” and because it is “human” feel that we will be judged if we tell the truth. And, yes, I do it too..
So. By saying it’s ok to have 3-4 / week she may just be enabling mothers to feel justified, (or safe), in consuming a whole lot more……………….

Emma December 25, 2008, 9:59 PM

Wow..Brave Doctor for posting that article…Methinks she’s set herself up for a whole lotta trouble there though!
I am a Health proffessional, (a Registered Nurse studying to be a Doctor), but I am also a pretty average Aussie…Ie, I REALLY enjoy drinking, smoking, and…..long ago….drugs! I would love nothing more than to be reassured by a fellow HP that drinking while pregga’s is OK, (I am currently 31 wks pregnant), but I cannot help but be rather doubtful. Of major concern to me, (re the article), is that one of the first things we are taught at uni is to, (as a general rule..Obviously there are exceptions), double the amount of alcohol, ciggies and drugs that a client,(patient), states they consume,. Eg, if a client told me they drink 4 units of etoh per day I’d generally assume they actually drank 6-8, partly owing to accidental ignorance of “a standard drink” and because it is “human” feel that we will be judged if we tell the truth. And, yes, I do it too..
So. By saying it’s ok to have 3-4 / week she may just be enabling mothers to feel justified, (or safe), in consuming a whole lot more……………….


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement