Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have discovered that drinking during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth by three times. There have always been conflicting messages about how much or even whether women should or should not drink when they are expecting a baby, and this new research attempted to clarify the conflicting messages.
A staggering 60,000 women were questioned, all of which who were between 10 and 12 weeks pregnant. The results they gave were then tallied up and studied once they had had their babies. Those who drank more than 20 units a week were considered to be heavy drink drinkers, and it seems, they were more likely to have premature babies.
A fifth of the women said that they never drank and 71% claimed to be occasional drinkers (that's 0-5 units a week). However, some women could have been misreported or under-estimating their drinking habits. >10% of the pregnant women drank a moderate amount of alcohol (which is 6-20 units a week). These women were more likely to smoke, be in work and to have private health care compared to those who never drank.
Approximately 2 in 1000 admitted to being heavy drinkers (which means they drank more than 20 units per week). The babies born to these women we more prone to very premature birth and all the problems premature babies have.
The best advice is to avoid alcohol all together just to be sure!
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may increase the risk of a child developing behavioural problems in later life, so new research has found.
It has been discovered by researchers at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth that the type of behavioural issue is influenced by the quantity of alcohol consumed and at which trimester the alcohol is consumed, scientists have said.
2,000 Australian mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire when their babies were 3 months old and again when they were 2, 5 and 8. Mothers who reported they drank heavily (more than a bottle of wine a week) during the first trimester of their pregnancy were nearly three times as likely to observe that their child suffered from anxiety and/or depression.
Mothers who drank moderately were twice as likely to report problems. It seemed that exposure to alcohol did influence the babies' behaviour.
It was found that low levels of alcohol did not pose a risk to the baby.
Mothers need not be alarmed by these findings: as not all babies will be effected. However, it is vital that pregnant women understand the risks and that all women of pregnancy age are informed and educated about the effects of alcohol can have on their unborn child.
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