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Alcohol While Pregnant a No-No, Says New Study, Not Even a Drop

Image: Alcohol While Pregnant a No-No, Says New Study, Not Even a Drop
A nurse holds the hand of a premature baby, born at five months of pregnancy. (Fredy Builes/Reuters)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Oct 2015 08:11 AM

Women should completely avoid using alcohol while pregnant because of links to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, emphasizes a new clinical study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is a term used to describe a wide range of effects from fetal alcohol syndrome to milder problems like hyperactivity, attention problems, difficulty in school, learning disabilities, speech and language delays and poor reasoning, according to National Public Radio.

"Subsequently, research unequivocally revealed that prenatal alcohol exposure causes a broad range of adverse developmental effects," says the study. "The diagnostic criteria for fetal alcohol syndrome are specific, and comprehensive efforts are ongoing to establish definitive criteria for diagnosing the other FASDs."

Dr. Janet Williams, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center and co-author of the study, told CBS News that the best bet for pregnant woman is to simply abstain from drinking alcohol.

"Alcohol-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are completely preventable when pregnant women abstain from alcohol use," says the study. "Neurocognitive and behavioral problems resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure are lifelong. Early recognition, diagnosis and therapy for any condition along the (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) continuum can result in improved outcomes."

The study said no amount of alcohol intake should be considered safe and there is no safe trimester to drink alcohol. It also said that all forms of alcohol – like beer, wine and liquor – pose similar risk and binge drinking poses dose-related risk to the developing fetus.

CBS News said one in 10 women in the United States drink alcohol while pregnant and three percent have admitted to binge drinking while carrying a child, according to statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

The new study goes against one published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in 2010 that found there was no extra behavioral or thinking risks associated with having one or two drinks a week, said the Chicago Tribune.

"With our current research methods, we will never be able to conclude from human studies whether there is a safe lower level below which drinking is not associated with any harm to the developing fetus," added Janni Niclasen, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Copenhagen who has studied alcohol and pregnancy, according to the Tribune.


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Women should completely avoid using alcohol while pregnant because of links to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, emphasizes a new clinical study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
alcohol, pregnant, study
408
2015-11-20
Tuesday, 20 Oct 2015 08:11 AM
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