Yet Another Study Suggests That A Pre-Natal Drink May Not Be As Dangerous As You Think

pregnant women with beerGood news to all you party animal preggos who want to get your pre-natal drank on.* According to the online-only journal BMJ Open, moderate drinking doesn’t seem to negatively effect the neurodevelopment of infants.

Seriously though, BMJ is careful to note that they are not encouraging drinking of any kind during pregnancy, and certainly not anything beyond three to seven drinks a week, which is considered moderate.

The study, titled the A”von Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children” (ALSPAC) was a large one. Almost 7,000 children were studied from birth until age 10. At age 10 the children were checked for several indicators of neurological problems, mostly having to do with balance.

The majority of mothers did not drink during pregnancy (70 percent) and one in four were marked as having low to moderate consumption. Only about 4 percent drank more than seven glasses a week.

Some of the information found seemed obvious, at least to me. There is no level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy that is known to be safe. However, if drinking booze was that bad for the unborn, then whole generations of kids would have been born stunted. A couple of generations ago drinking during pregnancy was the norm.

Other info seemed counterintuitive. According to the study, the more educated and affluent moms-to-be were actually more likely to get shellacked than their less well-off counterparts. So wouldn’t that mean wealthier babies would be more likely to have issues? We know that isn’t the case.

According to the BMJ blog about the study:

But there was no evidence that the children of these women were less able to balance than those whose mums who did not have this genetic profile. In fact there was a weak suggestion that children of mums with the ”low alcohol” gene actually had better balance, although the numbers were too small to show this reliably.

Taken together, the results show that after taking account of influential factors, such as age, smoking, and previous motherhood, low to moderate alcohol consumption did not seem to interfere with a child’s ability to balance for any of the three components assessed.

Now, I don’t think this means every expectant mom should run out and buy a bottle of the nearest liquor store’s finest bottle of Everclear. For me, even the thought of having a drink when I was pregnant would turn my stomach. But maybe the French have it right. Perhaps pregnant women who would like to have a nice glass of port with dinner every once in a while can do so without the sancti-mommy judgeyness we’ve grown accustomed to here in the States.

*I am NOT advocating for any party loving preggos to “drank” anything but warm milk. 

(Photo: Piotr Marcinski / Shutterstock)

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