Is ‘light drinking’ while pregnant really that bad?

| | September 19, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Drinking in pregnancy is a fraught issue and causes much anxiety. Last year new guidance to the NHS in England urged women to try not to drink at all, but in the real world, say the new study’s authors, up to 80% in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia drink some alcohol while they are pregnant. Since half of all pregnancies are unplanned, many women drink before the test shows positive.

Although there is strong evidence that excessive drinking harms babies in the womb, the study from researchers at the University of Bristol found that few good studies had been done on light drinking, which they defined as no more than two small drinks, or four units per week.

“This valuable and humane study has shown that warnings about the dangers of drinking any alcohol at all during pregnancy are not justified by evidence,” said David Spiegelhalter, Winton professor for the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge.

“A precautionary approach is still reasonable, but with luck this should dispel any guilt and anxiety felt by women who have an occasional glass of wine while they are pregnant.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Little evidence that light drinking in pregnancy is harmful, say experts

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