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Moderate drinking during pregnancy may not harm baby's development

Washington, June 18 : Drinking 3 to 7 glasses of alcohol a week, during pregnancy, does not seem to harm foetal neurodevelopment, a new study has claimed.


The researchers said but social advantage may be a factor, as more affluent and better educated mums-to-be tend to drink more than women who are less well off.

They assessed the ability to balance - an indicator of prenatal neurodevelopment - of almost 7000 ten year olds who were part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

Those children whose mothers' alcohol consumption during (18 weeks) and after pregnancy (47 months) was known, underwent a 20 minute balance assessment when they reached the age of 10.

The assessment included dynamic balance (walking on a beam); and static balance (heel to toe balance on a beam, standing on one leg for 20 seconds) with eyes open and then again with eyes closed. Each child had two attempts at the test.

70 percent of children's mums drank no alcohol while pregnant, while 25 percent drank between 1 and 2 (low consumption) and 3 and 7 glasses a week (moderate consumption).

About 4.5 percent drank 7 or more glasses a week and of these, around one in seven were classified as binge drinkers - 4 or more glasses at any one time.

The study has been published online in journal BMJ Open.

--ANI (Posted on 18-06-2013)

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