Researchers working with the Danish National Birth Cohort claim drinking in the early parts of pregnancy has no negative impact on the pregnancy or fetal health, according to a new report. The report included information collected from more than 1,500 women. The women reported drinking habits and children were examined at five years of age for detrimental effects associated with alcohol intake. The Danish researchers report no ill effects with moderate drinking.
For the sake of the study, low levels of drinking were defined as up to four drinks during one week. Moderate levels of drinking meant the pregnant women drank up to eight drinks during one week. High levels of drinking were more than nine drinks per week. If the pregnant woman reported having more than five drinks during one day was called binge drinking. The control in the group was a group of mothers who chose not to drink at all while pregnant.
The average age of the mother at birth was 31 and as many as 50-percent of the pregnancies were first pregnancies. The report also noted that more than 10-percent of the women were single mothers. Some women told researchers they chose to smoke while pregnant.
After collecting information on drinking habits, the researchers then tested the five-year-old children for various developmental delays, including learning disabilities and IQ. Maternal IQs were also measured though the results of those tests did not play into the alcohol consumption results.
After all data was collected and compared, researchers in the study revealed that alcohol consumption in the low to moderate levels did not play a part in child development. Moreover, they also found binge drinking on occasion was not detrimental in most cases either. There was some reduction in attention span when mothers drank a lot of alcohol on a regular basis.
Researchers stated that it may be sensible to ask pregnant women to stop drinking, but it may also be a bit conservative. Not all doctors and researchers agree with this statement. Soon after publishing, the Danish study came under fire by experts in the United States. These experts claim that drinking, especially binge drinking is unhealthy and dangerous during pregnancy. Experts against drinking cite 30 years of research to back their claims.
Source: H-L Falgreen Eriksen, EL Mortensen, T Kilburn, M Underbjerg, J Bertrand, H Stovring, T Wimberley, J Grove, US Kesmodel.