Every so often, we stumble across a study that tries to question something that's been long accepted in our culture. The matter of drinking while pregnant is the latest to reemerge, thanks to a recent series of five studies carried out by Danish researchers and published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which produced very interesting results.
Now, before you go getting all overly excited and pouring rounds of tequila, here are a few facts that you should definitely know.
- The researchers' goal was to study the effects of alcohol on three factors: a child's IQ, attention span and "executive function" skills, or the way they plan, organize and practice self-control, by the age of five.
- The study consisted of more than 1,600 women who averaged 31 years old. The women were recruited following their first prenatal doctor's appointment.
- Denmark's measurement for a single drink is more reserved than in the U.S. An alcoholic drink in Denmark was defined as 0.4 oz of alcohol, or one-third less than American standards.
- The study did not support all-you-can-drink brunches, rather, the pregnant women who participated were exposed to low to moderate levels of alcohol.
- The conclusion: Women who drank low to moderate levels of alcohol (low was defined as one to four drinks; moderate as four to eight) during early pregnancy did not risk neurological and psychological damage to their child before the age of five.
- Those women who consumed nine or more drinks per week put their children at risk for a lower attention span after five years old.
- Bottom line: Women who are pregnant should remain cautious and avoid alcohol altogether, as no "safe" levels of alcohol consumption have been established.
Ladies (and men too!), what do you think about the latest findings, and would you ever consider drinking low to moderate amounts of alcohol while pregnant?