Any Amount of Alcohol During Pregnancy Can Affect Baby, Says Study

A new review has revealed that consuming alcohol at any point during pregnancy can lead to poorer brain function in newborns.

The study, ‘Evidence of detrimental effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on offspring birth weight and neurodevelopment from a systematic review of quasi experimental studies’ was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Researchers at the University of Bristol compared 23 published studies on drinking during pregnancy and analyzed them in the review.

It was found that drinking alcohol in any trimester can affect the baby, in many cases leading to lower birth weight and poorer cognitive functioning.

According to a report by Daily Mail, the group tried to compare similar groups of people, who were only different in terms of exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. In earlier studies, research was conducted through ‘observational’ studies only, where participants were already exposed to a risk factor and researchers did not alter this.

Hence, this was the first time that results from different study designs were compared in relation to the effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Speaking to Daily Mail, study lead Dr Luisa Zuccolo, from the University of Bristol, said that their work confirmed the current scientific consensus which says “consuming alcohol during pregnancy can affect one’s child’s cognitive abilities later in life, including their education”.