The Checkup: Moderate Drinking While Pregnant May Be Okay, Study Says

Researchers found no association between a few drinks a week during pregnancy and impaired neurodevelopment in children.

• Hey pregnant ladies: Before you run out and toss back a few beers, I want to say from the get-go that this study comes with a laundry list of caveats from the researchers themselves. But nonetheless, here goes: New research found that light to moderate drinking might be okay during pregnancy. In fact, NPR reports, “Even occasional binge drinking (five or more drinks in a single session) didn’t appear to be tied to developmental issues.” Researchers looked at the IQs, attention spans and decision-making of over 1,500 five-year-olds in Denmark, along with their mothers’ drinking habits during pregnancy. Less the half of the women refrained from alcohol all together. Some reported drinking between one and four drinks a week, while others drank five to eight. Only 20 women said they drank nine or more alcoholic beverages per week. Still, the association between drinking and developmental problems wasn’t there. It may be that the tests used on the kids were flawed, or that neurological issues won’t arise until later in life. But I wonder: Does a study like this give you peace of mind for having a drink or two during pregnancy? Or will you be a teetotaler just the same?

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