When a woman gets pregnant there is a whole list of things she is not supposed to do.
No bicycle riding. No tennis. No cold cuts. No unpasteurized cheese. And at the top of the list of no-no's for moms-to-be is alcohol.
It has been commonly known in the last few decades that women should abstain from all alcohol throughout her pregnancy and then afterward for as long as she is breastfeeding. But new research may change that generally agreed upon rule.
Researchers in Denmark recently conducted a series of studies which included 1,628 Danish women to look at the effects of alcohol consumption in pregnancy and its effects on their children at the age of five.
The study focused on the children's IQ, attention spans, planning and organization skills, and self-control. They found no significant difference in the development of children whose mothers drank eight or less drinks per week while pregnant.
However, when the maternal consumption was nine drinks or more per week, there was an increased risk of attention problems for their children.
While this study is interesting, some say it is dangerous too as it could give pregnant women, especially alcoholics, the idea that it is safe to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
Despite this study, which experts agree needs to be replicated on a larger level, nearly all medical professionals agree that alcohol and pregnancy simply do not mix.
No one knows exactly what effect even the smallest amount of alcohol has on a developing baby. The safest thing for moms-to-be is to not drink it at all.
According to BabyCenter.com, "all public health officials in the United States recommend that pregnant women, as well as women who are trying to conceive, play it safe by steering clear of alcohol entirely. So do experts at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics."
Drinking alcohol can endanger developing babies in a variety of ways, including the following:
- It increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
- It can increase the odds of having a baby with a low birth weight when the mother drinks as little as one drink per day.