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Study says it's ok for pregnant women to drink glass of wine per week

Researchers at University College London even suggest doing so could ensure your child is better behaved

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Sinead O'Donnell
11:26 Wednesday 17 April 2013

A new study suggests it's ok for pregnant women to drink a glass of wine a week.

A team at University College London even suggests mums-to-be who have the odd tipple could find their child is better behaved than those who abstain.

Official Government advice is that women who are expecting or trying to conceive should avoid alcohol completely.

But this research suggests that children born to women who drink one small glass of wine a week while pregnant are not likely to suffer any cognitive or behavioural problems.

 

The study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, saw more than 10,000 seven-year-olds take cognitive tests and their parents and teachers completed interviews and questionnaires to test the children's social and emotional behaviour.

The findings suggested that children born to light drinkers - those who drank two units or less a week - had lower behavioural difficulty scores than children born to mothers who abstained from drinking during pregnancy. Similarly they were found to have higher cognitive test scores for reading, maths and spatial skills tests.

However, when the authors adjusted the score for potential confounding factors, most of the results did not prove to be significant.

But boys born to mothers who drank small amounts during pregnancy were found to have significantly better reading and spatial skills.

The study concludes that while children born to light drinkers appeared to have more favourable developmental profiles compared to those born to mothers who did not drink during pregnancy, after statistical adjustment these differences largely disappeared.

Newstalk reporter Henry McKean took to the streets of Dublin to find out your thoughts on whether drinking or smoking while pregnant is harmful:

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Sinead O'Donnell

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