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Pregnant women who are engaged in binge-drinking during the second trimester of their pregnancy are 68 percent more likely to have an underweight baby, says a new study.
The study found a link between binge drinking and the increased risk of SGA (small for gestational age weight babies) among mothers.
The doctors carried a study on the drinking habits of 11,000 mothers in Bradford, UK, between 2007 and 2011, as part of the Born in Bradford (BiB) project. They found more than 40 percent drank alcohol while pregnant and 333 women continued to binge drink.
The scientists say binge drinking is defined as having at least five units of alcohol in a short space of time – about half a bottle of wine, or two pints of beer. Binge drinking can cause serious injuries, accidents, alcohol poisoning and drowning. It can also lead to impaired driving ability and increase the risk of liver damage and alcohol dependence. Moreover, consuming high levels of alcohol at this age can also alter brain development.
Scientists say binge drinking is not good for expecting ladies. However, low or moderate levels of drinking did not increase the risk of having a small baby.
“Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a contentious topic but this research demonstrates a clear link between binge drinking during pregnancy and having a small baby,” said Professor John Wright, head of the BiB project.