Occasional drinking while pregnant is good or bad??

There is little evidence having the occasional drink while pregnant does any harm to a baby a review has concluded

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.

While there is little evidence that light drinking in pregnancy causes harm to babies they stressed that this is not proof that it is fine to drink.

Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for the United Kingdom, updated her recommendation a year ago from telling pregnant women that they could drink one to two units a week, to abstaining from all alcohol.

Expecting moms may not have anything at all to feel guilty about if they decide to drink a glass of wine on occasion while pregnant, a new study from the University of Bristol says.

The new findings are based on an analysis of seven and nine studies, respectively, from the original 26 studies.

The researchers even found that children born to mothers who drank light amounts of alcohol during pregnancy had better outcomes than those born to mothers who completely abstained.

So Bristol University scientists set out to determine the effects of low-to-moderate levels of drinking by women on pregnancy and the long-term health effects on their child. However, women should still avoid alcohol during pregnancy, just to make sure they don't experience any unpleasant events.

Likewise drinking up to four units or 32g a week was associated with an 10 percent increased risk of premature birth.

The researchers said there was insufficient data to "make robust conclusions", adding evidence on the effects of light drinking was "sparse". How light alcohol exposure may affect a developing fetus is less clear.

"Regularly drinking even small amounts could be harmful and should be avoided, in line with the precautionary approach".

But again, the NHS say the safest approach is to avoid alcohol while pregnant.

They found that drinking up to four units a week while pregnant, on average, was associated with an 8% higher risk of having a small baby compared with drinking no alcohol at all. "The distinction between light drinking and abstinence is indeed the point of most tension and confusion for health professionals and pregnant women".

If you are anxious about how much you have been drinking when pregnant, talk to your doctor or midwife.

Up until a year ago, women were told they could drink up to one or two units, once or twice a week.

Drinking during pregnancy remains an issue of great concern as nearly 80 percent of moms-to-be in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia drink some amount of alcohol during their pregnancy.

Dr. Janet Williams, professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health San Antonio, who served as one of the lead authors on a 2015 American academy of pediatrics advising no alcohol during pregnancy.

"In addition, there has been no evidence regarding possible benefits of light alcohol consumption versus abstinence".

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