Drinking During Pregnancy

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Story Updated: Jun 19, 2013

Pregnant women are told to avoid alcohol at all costs. A new study that is bound to spark heated debate looks at one aspect of this universal advice.

The study, just published in the journal BMJ, finds that moderate drinking during pregnancy may not harm a baby's neurodevelopment. Moderate drinking was defined as 3 to 7 glasses of alcohol per week.

The researchers included data from almost 7-thousand children and their moms. At age ten, the kids whose mothers drank during and after pregnancy underwent a 20-minute balance assessment. The ability to balance is a strong indicator of prenatal neurodevelopment. The results showed that low to moderate alcohol consumption did not interfere with a child's ability to balance whether walking or standing still.

Current US recommendations say there is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. And the March of Dimes reminds that when a woman drinks during her pregnancy, so does her baby. Drinking any level of alcohol during pregnancy is a potentially risky move for a woman and her developing child but one that can be 100% avoided.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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