Light Drinking and the Risk to Unborn Babies

A study released today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, and led by the University College London, has claimed that should a pregnant woman drink one or two units of alcohol a week during their pregnancy, it may not have a detrimental to the unborn infants health.

This is after endless research and Official Advice that women should abstain completely during all three trimesters of pregnancy. 11,000 five year olds were studied and no evidence of harm was found, but among the children of heavy drinking parents, there was a higher proportion of behavioural and emotional difficulties. Obviously the correlation being that when a mother drinks, she increases the risk of her child developing these issues.

When a pregnant woman drinks, the alcohol is not only absorbed by her body but by the baby’s body via the placenta. The baby, naturally, is much less well equipped to break down the alcohol in the system, and this foreign material obstructs the child’s natural development. Spokeswoman Dr Yvonne Kelly of UCL stated in regard to the new evidence that women could make “better decisions” with these results. The Department of Health has spoken to say that complete abstinence was it’s advice and would remain so to avoid confusion among pregnant women, adding: “…we cannot say with confidence that drinking during pregnancy is safe and will not harm your baby”. This approach was echoed by Chris Sorek of Drinkaware, who stated: “…it is important to remember that ‘light drinking’ can mean different things to different people.” The story, as reported by the BBC. Drinkaware.

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