An Australian study of over 7000 women has found an increased risk of premature birth in the cases of women who drank alcohol during the first trimester of their pregnancies. Whilst the medical profession generally seems to be torn between advising women to cut alcohol out completely or condoning strict moderation (for more on the latest health advice, click here), this relatively small study found that in the cases examined, there was an 80 per cent increased chance of the woman going into premature labour if she had been drinking in the early weeks of her pregnancy.
Whilst those women who are planning to get pregnant are advised to cut out or severely limit their alcohol intake during times when they are trying or may already be pregnant – even before they know if they have conceived – there are many women who only find out they are unexpectedly pregnant a few weeks into the pregnancy.
Some experts feel this study may not be wholly conclusive and that further research and data is needed, but for more detailed background on this report, go to the website for BJOG (an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology).
If you drank alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, don't worry. Instead, be positively healthy now. Speak to your midwife about any possible concerns and hopefully, if neccessary, tests will be able to put your mind at rest.
For more about lifestyle before you knew you were expecting, go to Unexpectedly Pregnant? Don't Panic!.