While we're all well aware that guzzling litres of vodka whilst expecting a baby is an extremely bad idea, there's a fair few among us who'd enjoy a small glass of wine, or a half glass of bubbly for a special occasion. No harm done, right?
Worryingly, new research now suggests that even consuming as little as four units of alcohol in even just one day whilst pregnant can have mental health side effects on your unborn child. This new research also suggests that kids whose mothers consumed the aforementioned amounts of alcohol were at risk of doing worse at school, than had there been no alcohol consumed at all.
The study, as per The Guardian, found that the 11 year old kids whose mothers had roughly 2 medium sized glasses of wine during pregnancy were more likely to experience attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. Such findings were drawn via questionnaires from both their parents and their teachers. Furthermore, those affected by their mother's prenatal drinking scored on average one point lower in key stage 2 exams taken in their last year at primary school, according to these results.
Understandably, such findings have reopened the debate on alcohol during pregnancy, raising the question of whether it should perhaps be avoided in its entirety whilst carrying a baby. "Women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant should be aware of the possible risks associated with episodes of heavier drinking during pregnancy, even if this only occurs on an occasional basis.
"The consumption of four or more drinks in a day may increase the risk for hyperactivity and inattention problems and lower academic attainment even if daily average levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are low." - The lead author of the research, Professor Kapil Sayal of Nottingham University.