Another research comes to shake longtime myths about pregnancy. This time, five new Danish studies made scientists say that moderate drinking during pregnancy is OK.
Sure it might seem a bit farfetched, just like any other studies that have taken a hit at longstanding myths about staying healthy during pregnancy. All women know drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not recommended. But Danish researchers have data that moderate drinking during early pregnancy does not put the child at risk for neurological and psychological damage.
The BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published today quite a controversial research. Danish researchers found proof that sipping a maximum of eight drinks during the early stages of pregnancy does not impact the baby. However, exceeding only by one the number of drinks puts the child at a low risk of poor attention span.
Author Dr. Ulrik Schoiler Kesmodel confirmed that “high prenatal exposure to alcohol has consistently been associated with adverse effects on neurodevelopments”. But, “less is known about the effects of low to moderate, weekly average consumption levels and binge drinking”.
So his study was meant to find if there’s any impact on the baby’s health with low to moderate drinking during pregnancy. Given that everybody has its own take on what low and moderate drinking means, scientists emphasized that one to four drinks per week is considered low drinking. Moderate drinking counts for five to eight drinks per week, while high intake of alcohol exceeds nine drinks.
The five studies analyzed data from over 1,600 women. Only heavy drinking was found to impact a baby’s health with symptoms that were linked to low attention span.
The findings might conflict with the message the main funder of the studies has for pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises women to avoid drinking alcohol while pregnant.
Some experts believe the Danish studies might be giving pregnant women the wrong message. Dr. Bruce Goldman, Substance Abuse Services director at Zucker Hillside Hospital, said on HealthDay: “Women may underestimate and have difficulty acknowledging the frequency or quantity of alcohol consumed”. Moreover, for the women suffering from alcoholism the study might make their attempt to stop drinking even harder.