New Study Focuses On Light Drinking During Pregnancy

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

CBS DC (con't)

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PITTSBURGH (CBS) – New research suggests that light drinking during pregnancy may not be harmful to the child later on in life.

First-time mom Sara Little made sure to eat a balanced diet while she was pregnant with baby Aryn. The 31-year-old mom would also have an occasional drink.

“I had a glass of wine, once every month, once every six weeks just to enjoy with friends or relax,” said Little.

A new study suggests a little alcohol isn’t harmful to a child’s development.

Researchers in England compared 10,000 seven year olds. A quarter had mothers who drank lightly while pregnant. The other mothers didn’t drink.

“We looked at children’s social and emotional and intellectual development,” said Yvonne Kelly, the co-author of the study. “We found no differences in terms of harmful effects.”

Heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy has long been linked to health and developmental problems in children. Researchers have only recently begun looking at the impact of light drinking, which is defined as one to two drinks a week.

The study says pregnant women can drink a small glass of regular wine every week or a half a pint of beer.

The study’s authors say more research needs to be done to see if any developmental problems emerge later in childhood. Some women say no drink is worth it.

“I fear that there would be some damage quite honestly, so I don’t want to risk it,” said one mother. “If it’s even a slight risk, then it’s too much.”

Little says everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

“I just think if you do it in moderation, I think it’s perfectly acceptable,” she said.

Baby Aryn is now nine weeks old. Her mom says she is happy, healthy and settling nicely into the family.

The study found the children born to mothers who were light drinkers during pregnancy actually did slightly better on the behavioral and cognitive tests, but the difference wasn’t statistically significant.

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