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Sunday 20th May 2018

Some drink in pregnancy helpful?

15th June 2010

Expectant mothers who drink a glass of wine every day may end up with better-behaved children than women who are teetotallers, according to a recent Australian study.


The researchers found that pregnant women who drank light to moderate amounts of alcohol tended to have babies that had fewer emotional and behavioural problems.

For the purposes of the study, the researchers defined 'moderate' alcohol consumption as being not more than one drink per day.

Lead researcher Monique Robinson, of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in West Perth, Western Australia, said that she and her research team recorded children who had positive behaviour as being children who had less emotional and behavioural problems through their adolescence.

Such children had a 'clinically meaningful' lower risk of being aggressive or depressed than did children of complete teetotallers.

For the study, the researchers quizzed women as to what their weekly drinking habits had been during their early pregnancies.

In response, 59% of the women said they had not drunk during their pregnancies, while 20% of them said they had drunk occasionally and 15% said they had drunk small amounts of alcohol.

Of the women surveyed, 3% reported having between seven and 10 drinks per week, and 2% of them reported drinking heavily, which the researchers defined as consisting of 11 or more drinks per week.

After the researchers had made their initial queries about the mothers, they then followed up the 2,370 children belonging to their study subjects age 2-14, checking up every couple of years.

At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that the vast majority of mothers who did not drink in the first three months of pregnancy had more trouble getting their children to behave.

And 13% of the children born to mothers who were teetotallers had problems with aggression and forms of external behaviour. 10% of the same children had problems with depression.

The researchers supposed that the calming effect low doses of alcohol can have upon mothers was part of what made drinking moderate amounts of alcohol good for children.

Robinson said that, given what scientists already knew about heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy, it would not be a good idea to make many generalisations about the amount of alcohol expectant mothers should drink.

She also said that the benefits mothers can gain by drinking small amounts of alcohol while pregnant were greatly outweighed by the risks incurred by mothers who drank excessive amounts of alcohol.

People who either completely abstain or are alcoholic are both less healthy than people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, and the reason why may have to do with as-yet poorly understood biology.

Robinson said that women should also not feel guilty or anxious about low-level drinking effects prior to finding out they were pregnant.

However, the researchers said that they did not advise women who were pregnant to start drinking regularly.

They said that Australian national guidelines advised pregnant women against drinking at all.


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Tuesday 15th June 2010 @ 22:24

Maybe the women who reported drinking while pregnant under reported the behaviour issues they are having with their children because they live in denial. It's very unwise to do such a study FASD are the only 100% preventable birth defect. I know some will say our parents drank with us and we came out fine, well everyone turns out fine until someone doesn't. Our parents also didn't buckle us in seat belts and we turned out ok except for the kids who didn't.

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