Light Drinkers During Pregnancy “Not at Risk”

by Katy Docherty

Two units or more can harm the baby

Women who enjoy a weekly glass of wine during pregnancy are not putting their child at risk according to the findings of a new study led by University College London. One glass of wine can be equal to 2 units.

This new research conflicts with the Government’s advice that women should avoid alcohol altogether whilst pregnant. This was decided in 2007 after research found that 1 in 10 women were exceeding the recommended limit. The government line will not be changed in light of this study.

Dr. Yvonne Kelly, a lead author of the study, says, “There’s now a growing body of robust evidence that there is no increase in developmental difficulties associated with light drinking during pregnancy”.

A Department of Health spokesperson says, “as a precautionary measure, our advice to pregnant women and women trying to conceive is to avoid alcohol.”

Around 11,500 5 year olds were involved in the study published by The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health which says that children of mothers who drink up to 2 units of alcohol a week during pregnancy are “not at increased risk” of emotional problems or learning difficulties.

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidance in 2008 admitting that although there is uncertainty over light drinking in pregnancy but that it is safe to drink after the first three months of pregnancy.

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