There is much controversy over whether women can and should safely consume alcohol during pregnancy. One study shows that women can have some alcohol but many experts argue that doctors should advise against it.
One new study shows that women can drink alcohol in a reasonable, moderate manner while pregnant and that it could actually be good for their child.
But experts argue that the risk involved is not worth the drink. One expert said, “I really think we should recommend abstaining [from drinking] during pregnancy. I really believe that even a glass of wine now and again is really damaging.” In the United States the general practice is for physicians to urge women not to drink during pregnancy.
NBC news sheds light on this issue, “Studies have shown that heavy drinking causes birth defects. Niclasen was curious about how maternal drinking affected the mental health of their offspring. The study Niclasen looked at data from the Danish National Birth Cohort, which surveyed 37,000 women. Children with mothers who drank moderately — about 90 units throughout pregnancy, which works out to about two drinks a week — experienced better mental health than children whose mothers completely abstained from drinking.”
The author of the study issued a statement saying, “The abstainers did the poorest in all outcomes. They were the poorest educated, smoked the most, did not exercise, and watched a lot of TV. The moms who drank moderately did everything else right, in general; they exercised regularly, ate better, did not watch a lot of TV, had healthy BMIs, and were better educated. While these lifestyle factors have a huge impact on mental health, the author found that when she controlled for them, mom’s alcohol consumption still had small influence on the children’s mental health.”
But another expert was on the fence saying, “There is so much that happens to these kids between birth and 7 years of age … there is a lot of stuff you are not accounting for. Things like reading to a child or taking a lot of walks together could account for the small differences in mental health.”