Washington: Drinking 3 to 7 glasses of alcohol a week, during pregnancy, does not seem to harm foetal neurodevelopment, a new study has claimed.
The researchers said but social advantage may be a factor, as more affluent and better educated mums-to-be tend to drink more than women who are less well off.
They assessed the ability to balance - an indicator of prenatal neurodevelopment - of almost 7000 ten year olds who were part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).
Those children whose mothers` alcohol consumption during (18 weeks) and after pregnancy (47 months) was known, underwent a 20 minute balance assessment when they reached the age of 10.
The assessment included dynamic balance (walking on a beam); and static balance (heel to toe balance on a beam, standing on one leg for 20 seconds) with eyes open and then again with eyes closed. Each child had two attempts at the test.
70 percent of children`s mums drank no alcohol while pregnant, while 25 percent drank between 1 and 2 (low consumption) and 3 and 7 glasses a week (moderate consumption).
About 4.5 percent drank 7 or more glasses a week and of these, around one in seven were classified as binge drinkers - 4 or more glasses at any one time.
The study has been published online in journal BMJ Open.