No Amount of Alcohol Safe for Expectant Moms

Study finds even moderate drinking during pregnancy is risky

THURSDAY, Nov. 14, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- The dangers of heavy drinking during pregnancy are well documented. Now, there's new research that suggests moderate drinking during pregnancy may also pose a danger to a fetus in the womb.

The problems caused by moderate drinking may be more subtle -- long-term cognitive impairments that don't become apparent until the child reaches adolescence and then become progressively worse as the child grows older, says an American study.

It appears in the November issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The study looked at the physiological and behavioral problems in the mature offspring of female rats given alcohol during pregnancy. The mother rats' blood alcohol levels reached levels equal to less than half the level of legal intoxication in humans.

The study authors say their findings indicate that even low to moderate levels of drinking during pregnancy cause long-lasting learning problems for offspring.

They say the findings should be a warning to pregnant women and the doctors who care for them.

More information

Learn more about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.

SOURCE: University of New Mexico School of Medicine, news release, Nov. 14, 2002
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