Low to moderate drinking in early pregnancy deemed OK

It’s common practice for women who are pregnant to pass when it comes to alcohol – for fear that it might cause complications in their children.  However, a new study has revealed that low to even moderate drinking during early pregnancy is not linked with developmental problems in children up to five years old, the BBC News reported.

Published in the BJOG journal, the study out of Denmark found that having a standard drink – up to 12 g of alcohol – one to eight times a week was not associated with harm to the mother’s child.

According to BBC News, researchers recruited 1,600 pregnant women at their first prenatal visit.  The women were asked about their alcohol intake – low consumption being one to four drinks per week, moderate as five to eight, and high consumption as nine or more drinks per week.

Heavy drinking while pregnant has often been linked with increase risk of miscarriage, fetal alcohol syndrome and low birthrate.

Once the mothers' children turned five, the study examined their IQ, attention span, executive functions, and self control – comparing their results with their mother’s drinking habits.  Overall, there was no significant difference in IQ between children whose mothers drank low to moderate levels of alcohol compared with mothers who abstained.

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