Alcohol may cause premature delivery, researchers warn pregnant women

Alcohol may cause premature delivery, researchers warn pregnant women

The most common alcohol-related questions that Horsager-Boehrer hears from pregnant patients involve concerns about a single drink they might have had before they knew they were pregnant or having a sip of champagne at a special event, she said.

And, unfortunately, researchers still don't know for sure.

Because the evidence is sparse abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy is recommended, the British authors say.

Pregnant women are often anxious about drinking alcohol, however, experts in a new study have suggested that light drinking or consuming small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy does not prove to be harmful to the unborn baby. She's a researcher at the University of Bristol in England. In reality, women must be informed of the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, but this must be done strategically.

Number of women drinking alcohol is extreme than expected.

Official NHS guidance from the Chief Medical Officers for the United Kingdom published previous year says pregnant women should not drink because "experts are still unsure exactly how much - if any - alcohol is completely safe for you to have while you're pregnant". Babies aren't able to process alcohol as well as the mother can, which means it can damage cells in their brain, spinal cord and other parts of their body, and disrupt their development in the womb.

The review specifically looked particularly at complications related to pregnancy and birth characteristics, such as premature birth, miscarriage, and undersized babies, and also longer term issues, such as the developmental delays, impaired intellect, among others.

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For some women, even low amounts of drinking during pregnancy can have an adverse affect on the developing fetus. Some say they should avoid alcohol completely in this period.

But women who have had small amounts to drink in pregnancy should be reassured that they are unlikely to have harmed their baby.

There is very little evidence that drinking small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy harms babies, according to new research by the University of Bristol. The analysis, which tracked the health of these children from birth to age 10, concluded that light to moderate drinking during pregnancy had "no effect" on any children involved in the research. The investigators found there wasn't enough data on the effects of low alcohol use on various medical problems, with the exception of low birth weight and premature birth.

It adds: "Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk". The more we can learn about the potential risks, the better off women and their babies will be.

The review with seven studies included trials with as few as 500 women up to nearly 9,000 women. Out of thousands of studies, only 24 met the researchers' criteria for review.

Prof. David Spiegelhalter, from the University of Cambridge, said: "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".

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