Surprising new study regarding moms who drink during pregnancy


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Researchers of a large long-term study just published may have some good news for the pregnant mom who likes an occasional glass of wine.

A study of more than 10,000 children followed until age 7 found that those whose mothers drank about one to two alcohol drinks per week were not at an increased risk for having mental or behavioral problems.

The current common practice is for doctors to err on the side of caution and just tell their pregnant patients to avoid alcohol altogether. It's also well-known that drinking heavily while pregnant can cause severe health issues and developmental problems for babies. But light drinking has not been extensively studied, and it is unclear how much light drinking, is too much.

In this recent study, the investigators assessed children for math, reading and spatial skills, as well as social and emotional behavior.

The researchers also looked at how much the mothers of these children drank during pregnancy:

  • 13 percent never drank
  • 57 percent avoided alcohol during pregnancy
  • 23 percent were light drinkers during pregnancy
  • 7 percent were heavier drinkers during pregnancy

Ironically, the children of light drinkers during pregnancy had less behavioral problems and performed better on the math, reading and spatial skills tests than the kids whose mothers abstained; but the difference was not statistically significant.

The researchers say they hope to do more studies as the children age, to see if any adverse effects of low alcohol consumption during pregnancy shows up in later childhood.

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About This Blog

Myra Wright has been the editor of Piedmont Parent since 2007 and is mom to three kids, ages 16, 13 and 8. Here, she blogs about parenting as well as news and events for Piedmont Triad parents.

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