According to a Danish study, one alcohol binge during pregnancy can cause serious harm to the unborn baby. Expecting mothers who drank more than 7.5 units per session are more likely to have badly behaved children.
The study involved 30,000 women who were pregnant at the time of it starting. Seven years later, the researchers contacted the woman again to find out how well behaved their children were. Women who had binged on alcohol, even just once, had children who were not as well behaved as women who abstained from drink during the nine months. Those who binged also had seven-year-olds who had poor attention spans.
For the purpose of the study, a binge was defined as when a woman drank at least 7.5 units during one drinking sessions. One large glass of wine contains three units, so 2.5 glasses of wine would be an alcohol binge.
The expectant mothers were asked to fill out a questionnaire to detail their drinking habits during pregnancy. They were also monitored during the nine months, as they were all at different stages. Once the children turned seven-years-old, the mothers had to fill out a second questionnaire; this time about the behavior.
Using the information collected from the questionnaires, the researchers found that one alcohol binge during later pregnancy months was more likely to cause serious harm to behavior. There were small effects in women who had a binge session in the earlier stage, which would cover mothers who drank before realizing that they were pregnant. The study did show that most women binged at some point during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
According to Janni Niclasen, one of the researchers, the brain becomes less flexible when a child is exposed to one to two alcohol binges during the early stages of pregnancy. That can make a child struggle when put in difficult situations while growing up.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom recommends women avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy. It also states that drinking heavily can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which can cause behavioral and learning difficulties, as well as facial abnormalities and restricted growth. The Danish study supports the initial problem linked to FAS. Dr Niclasen from the study also stated that binge drinking can lead to miscarriages or stillbirths.
While offering tips on avoiding drinking, the NHS states to avoid drinking more than one to two units once or twice each week.
Guardian Liberty Voice recently reported that neurologist professor Dick Swaab found that smoking during pregnancy causes babies to turn gay later in life. He also linked alcohol to this, explaining that brain cells migrate across the brain and can leave it. The IQ levels of children is affected due to this.
This study showing one alcohol binge during pregnancy can cause serious harm was not done to scare women out of drinking during pregnancy. It was an aim to educate women, so they think about the type of food they will eat or the drinks they will have during their pregnancy.
By Alexandria Ingham