This is news to me, and I thought I should share!
When I was pregnant with my son (just 2 years ago!), the health information said that a small amount of alcohol during pregnancy (I believe during the 2nd trimester) would not cause harm. Of course, it was recommended to not drink any alcohol, but pregnant women could have a few sips of wine, or have one glass of wine on Sunday evening, and not harm their baby.
Well, I just read that "as little as one drink a week during pregnancy" may have negative effects on a child's behavior as teens! I was surprised, as we all know that drinking too much alcohol during pregnancy has the risk of causing immediate and severe birth defects (called fetal alcohol syndrome)...but one drink while pregnant on a Sunday evening could cause behavior problems when my child is a teenager?!
The answer to the above question is yes, but not in the manner you may think.
" There is evidence that even a low level of prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with aggressiveness, delinquency and other so-called "externalizing behaviors." But women who drink during pregnancy are themselves more likely to have these and other problems -- and may tend to choose mates that have such problems as well, the researchers point out."
To summarize, the researchers have found an association between "low level of prenatal alcohol exposure" (defined by as little as one drink per week during pregnancy) as having an impact on the child's behavior when he/she is a teenager. They ALSO found an association between the mechanism: it may/may not be just the alcohol itself, but mothers who do choose to drink during pregnancy are more likely themselves to have behavior/aggression issues...and may raise children who have these same behavior problems.
What do you think about this new finding? Does it change your behavior with choosing to drink a glass of wine while pregnant?
December 2008, journal of Pediatrics
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