A new study has shown that light drinking during pregnancy does not cause any adverse behavioral or cognitive outcomes in children
I’m not going to debate having an occasional glass of wine during pregnancy. But let’s be perfectly clear: alcohol intoxication and pregnancy don’t mix.
There is a very well established medical diagnosis labeled fetal alcohol syndrome. Prior to the early 1970s, fetal alcohol syndrome was not well understood, and many pregnant women did not receive the warning that they should avoid excessive use of alcohol during pregnancy. Therefore, many babies were born with multiple anomalies.
Subsequent research has clearly shown that alcohol intoxication during different periods of embryonic life leads to cellular damage that harms the unborn child. The typical side effects of fetal alcohol syndrome include:
- Growth deficiency before and after birth
- Unique facial features, such as small eyes, thin upper lip and a short, upturned nose
- Small head and brain size
- Heart defects
Also, these babies often have severe neurodevelopmental deficiencies, such as delayed development and learning disorders. This is why I always remind women during pregnancy that an occasional glass of wine may not be a problem, but clearly, regular drinking should not be done – even if you consider yourself to be a moderate user.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.