A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, have discovered that light drinking in early pregnancy raises the risk of preterm baby, even if mothers to be keep within two units per week (which is the government recommended limit).
We’ve discussed about the dangers of binge drinking and the risks of delivering an underweight baby, but this new study changes things. Up until now pregnant women we advised to keep their alcohol consumption to a minimum or to avoid it altogether. The study was published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and it concluded that drinking alcohol in the weeks following conception not only leads up to bringing a preterm baby into the world, but is also linked to smaller fetal growth.
Light Drinking in Early Pregnancy – How Bad Is It?
Before this study, there was one certainty: the consumption of large quantities of alcohol would cause the fetus to develop FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), a syndrome that affects the child’s intellect and physical traits. But there was always the question about light drinking in early pregnancy.
While some doctors believed that two units of alcohol per week do not affect the fetus, other studies reinforced the idea that there is no safe limit for alcohol consumption during pregnancy. For example, the CDC (the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that pregnant women should refrain from consuming alcohol during pregnancy while the UK’s Department of Health believe that pregnancy women should stick to one or two units of alcohol per week (one beer or a medium glass of wine, two times a week).
This new study discovered that over two units of alcohol per week increases the chances of delivering preterm of small babies. Almost 1,500 pregnant British women were assessed for the study with ages between 18 and 25. When the babies were born, 13% were underweight, almost 5% were smaller than the norm and 4.3% were preterm. During pregnancy, the average intake of alcohol for the women in this study was 11 units of alcohol per week in the first trimester of pregnancy.
What are your thoughts on light drinking in early pregnancy? Do you think that pregnant women should refrain from consuming alcohol or should stick to the recommended two units per week?