Pregnant women ready to take a sip of that wine or beer should take caution. Despite a recent study, many experts are still warning women to not mix alcohol and pregnancy.
A recent study seemed to debunk the commonly held belief that women cannot drink any alcohol while pregnant. In the study, researchers concluded that having up to eight drinks a week does not affect the neurological development of the baby. Even some binge drinking was acceptable for pregnant women. Despite the recent studies, many experts are warning against the results.
Kenneth Lyons Jones, MD, from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) believes that the 30 years of studies indicating women should not drink during pregnancy far outweighs any recent studies reporting it is okay for women to drink in moderation during pregnancy.
Dr. Jones was one of the researchers who helped discover Fetal Alcohol Syndrome nearly 40 years ago in 1973. Some of the limitations of the recent study include the fact that its conclusions are drawn from interviews conducted anywhere from seven weeks and the amount of alcohol and how frequently alcohol was consumed may not be accurate.
Another factor to consider is who actually participated in the study. The initial study involved 1,600 Danish mothers answering questions about their alcohol while only half agreed to later to the later studies involving developmental tests on the children. This may have skewed the results because the mothers who drank but had higher functioning children may be more inclined to participate in the follow-up studies.
Christina Chambers, MPH, PhD, also from UCSD, agrees with Dr. Jones about the 30+ years of research on drinking during pregnancy and also notes that binge drinking can also be dangerous to the baby. Each woman metabolizes alcohol differently and the risk factors for each woman are different.
Women shouldn't be alarmed or afraid that they may have had some alcohol before they realized they were pregnant but the experts from UCSD believe that during pregnancy the women should take caution to stop drinking alcohol.
There is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, note researchers, and any attempt to do so would be pretty much impossible. A survey cannot determine a "moderate" amount of alcohol is okay because there are many different factors involved with neurological development while pregnant. The best advice continues to be the one given for nearly 30 years and that's to avoid alcohol while pregnant conclude the UCSD experts.