A British study has found that even small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can have a negative effect on the foetus. The study followed nearly 1,300 women and found that women who consumed alcohol, even those that consumed less than their daily allowance, were more likely to give birth prematurely or have a child with a low birth weight.
This study is the first to follow British women both before and during pregnancy. The conclusion was that even a small amount of alcohol can have a huge effect on babies long term health.
Researchers say that women who drink within the first trimester of their pregnancy are most likely to harm their babies. “Women adhering to guidelines in this period were still at increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. Our findings suggest that women should be advised to abstain from alcohol when planning to conceive and throughout pregnancy,” said Researchers.
The UK government has always maintained that women should abstain completely from drinking while pregnant. Their guidelines for women who choose to drink despite being pregnant are, by their own admission, somewhat of a guess. No one is certain how much alcohol is safe to drink while pregnant. The only way to be sure that the baby is safe is simply to avoid all alcohol during pregnancy.
Despite these warnings, many women still choose to drink while pregnant. This can create a number of health problems and puts the baby at a higher risk for problems before and after birth.
While more research is being done, most modern countries continue to advice avoiding alcohol completely. It is simply too difficult to know how an individual or their baby will react to drinking and with the number of possible complications, it is the only sure way to ensure there are no health problems.
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