Experts question alcohol abstinence in pregnancy

Researchers have questioned the official advice given to pregnant mums over drinking alcohol

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New research has claimed that pregnant women are being misinformed about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant.

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The study says that the government’s official advice of complete abstinence from drinking while with child may in fact be questionable.

According to the research, many mums could actually benefit from small amounts of alcohol while pregnant as it can help them to relax.

Colin Gavaghan, of the School of Law at the University of Glasgow, said that although it was evident that heavy drinking does put the foetus at risk, the link between moderate to light drinking, and harming the unborn child is “far from clear-cut”.

“Research even found children of mothers who drank lightly in pregnancy had fewer developmental problems than those whose mothers abstained completely,” Dr Gavaghan added. 

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, backs up research from 2008 by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

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This suggested that there was no evidence of harm to an unborn baby, provided pregnant women drank no more than one or two units a week.

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