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

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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."

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31 comments so far | Post a comment now
DR E December 25, 2008, 10:41 PM

Message to Millie…..
I won’t mention just how jugemental, irritating, boorish, IGNORANT, narrow minded, depressing, incorrect (factually and politically), peurile, ridiculous, stoopid, astonishingly cruel(&c) your comment is….Oh sorry…Just did didn’t I? Apologies. It couldn’t be helped…………..I would like to say, however, that I am a “high risk pregnancy” obstetrician and, as such, feel it safe to assume I am a tad more informed in this matter than you………And…Frankly…You are WRONG and you are rude and, I betchya, rather a bore…
With that attitude it worries me gravely that you are in a position of care……..Wow. How do you treat the parents of the kids you look after in your job?? Scary!!! I bet your quite religious, yes??
Can I just ask your qualifications? Training? Education???
I think you should consider a career change.
Dr E!!!

Amy January 17, 2009, 3:40 PM

How bout we leave all this to the doctors and the people qualified to make these decisions!!!

Anonymous July 1, 2009, 1:22 AM

Hmmm. I for one am noting that the testing was done on over 12 THOUSAND children! (I’m sure from all backgrounds, and parents of all walks of life). Why don’t we give the article SOME credit as being possibly well-researched?

Anonymous July 4, 2009, 4:57 PM

Emma, you are smoking while pregnant?
I’d MUCH rather see a woman drinking a glass or two of wine a week, than smoking!
Alcohol in small amounts is medicinal, whereas smoking is ALWAYS harmful.

Concerned June 21, 2010, 4:00 PM

This is a disturbing article and it is going to cause more harm than good.

Sorry alcoholics, there is no reason to drink when pregnant. NONE. A child is more important than a beer or two a week, honestly.

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