Moderate drinking during pregnancy may not harm baby`s development

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 14:06

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.


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First Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 14:06

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