ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — Drink up. A new study finds that there are no ill effects if a woman drinks moderately during pregnancy.
Danish researchers found that women who had five to eight alcoholic drinks a week early during pregnancy had “no significant effect on neurodevelopment” of their 5-year-old children, according to the study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
“Focusing on children’s IQ and executive functions, no differences in test performance were observed between children whose mothers reported 1-4 or 5-8 drinks/week per week in pregnancy compared to children of abstaining mothers,” the study states. The study did find, though, that a pregnant woman who would binge drink – defined as having more than 5 drinks during a single occasion – would have children who suffered from lower attention spans.
More than 1,600 women took part in the study. Thirty-one percent of those women claimed to have smoked during their pregnancy.
“Our findings show that low to moderate drinking is not associated with adverse effects on the children aged five,” the Danish authors said in the study. “However, despite these findings, additional large scale studies should be undertaken to further investigate the possible effects.”
John Thorp, deputy editor-in-chief for BJOG, says that “more research is needed to look at long term effects of alcohol consumption on children.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says women should not drink alcohol whatsoever during pregnancy.
“Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong disorders, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders,” the CDC warns on its website.
There is no cure for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.