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New study on alcohol and pregnancy

Latest research finds "no convincing evidence" of a link between binge drinking and birth defects.

Posted: 15 November 2007
by Monica Stylli

There has always been controversy surrounding alcohol and pregnancy with many guidelines and suggesting that excessive drinking can cause damage to unborn babies.

However, a recent study by Oxford University has found that occasional binge drinking in pregnancy appears to have no direct link to birth defects. The team from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the university examined hundreds of studies from across the world and selected a handful that allowed them to investigate the effects of binge drinking.
The results showed “no convincing evidence” that binge drinking in pregnancy could harm the fetus but two of the studies did hint that a child could be born with a very slightly lower IQ or have behavioural difficulties.

The team who carried out the research suggested that new studies were needed, but that their recent findings could offer some reassurances to women concerned about the effects of a single binge drink during their pregnancy.

This year the Government changed its advice to recommend that pregnant women abstain from drinking. This is also backed by The British Medical Association, which suggests that women should avoid alcohol altogether as a precaution during pregnancy.

If you are concerned about the issues surrounding alcohol and pregnancy then you can find out more on the site here.

You can also have your say in our new vote on the homepage - Do you think that drinking alcohol is acceptable during pregnancy?

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Discuss this story

i dont get this! i think this is giving people the green light to not only drink, but drink to excess. i felt dreadfull on my birthday when i found out i was pregnant as i had several skinfulls the week running up to by bday and was very worried about the knock on effect. admittedly i still had a glass off wine every couple of weeks throughout my pregnancy but i would never contemplate having a 'binge session' when pregnant. i think its asking for trouble. surely getting drunk makes you more suceptable to trips and falls, etc, and i dont know what its like for everyone else but i would always reach for my fags with a glass of wine or a beer. i always thought that a glass of wine a day was better for you than lots just at the weekend, i think the message they are sending out is very irresponsible.

Posted: 18/11/2007 at 21:15

I agree harry's mummy it is a bit mixed advice with this topic, I too felt bad when I found out I was PG as the weekend before was firework night and I had a few to drink that night too, but after reading other members views on this I came to the conclusion that it is each to there own with this subject and if you if this is your first PG or not, as a lot of friends and family have told me your body will know what it wants and as long as you do things in Moderation than I can't see it doing much harm. I have wrote a bigger topic on this in the new guidelines on alcohol in pregnancy, but don't let it stress you out as you don't want that while you PG.

Posted: 19/11/2007 at 19:18

I think as with everything else moderation is the key. The British Nutrition Foundation says 1-2 units 1-2 times a week is ok and that's what I'm sticking to.. the occasional one drink is going to be fine for your liver to cope with unless you have a health reason it won't be. Binge drinking is never a healthy thing to do, but being fanatical about not drinking isn't necessary.

Posted: 19/11/2007 at 22:30

i agree suzanne. i had a couple of glassses a week on a saturday night with my family, and my son is perfect i didnt binge drink, for obvious reasons, but stuck to the guidelines. i dont think the message that they are sending saying that the odd binge drinks ok'. why not say the odd glass is ok, not encourage the whole bottle.

Posted: 20/11/2007 at 12:36

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