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Does drinking during pregnancy lead to better behaved kids?

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If you’re an expectant mother, is having a glass of wine okay?

According to  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking while pregnant can potentially lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, resulting in a range of physical and mental disabilities. However, other research has indicated that moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy is okay.

In a new study from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, psychologist Janni Niclasen conducted a follow-up on the "Danish National Birth Cohort,” a large study that gathered information about alcohol and pregnancy between 1996 and 2002. While the study originally found that pregnant women who drank small amounts of alcohol had children who showed significantly better emotional and behavioral development by age 7, Niclasen’s analysis indicated the need for further research into the topic.

Overall, Niclasen noted that more research into sociological and lifestyle factors may help explain the relationship between mothers’ alcohol consumption and a child’s mental health later in life.

“It’s already difficult to control for lifestyle factors, so when there is also data missing that takes account of psychological variables, such as connection to the mother and intelligence, it’s important to be wary when interpreting the results,” she said.

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