Why Some Doctors Say a Glass of Wine a Day Is Safe for Moms-to-Be

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A new study published in the journal BMJ Open says that pregnant women can drink up to one glass of wine a day without harming their child’s neurodevelopment.

In Britain, University of Bristol researchers recruited nearly 7,000 ten-year-old children to undergo a 20-minute assessment that tested their dynamic balance — both walking on a beam and static balance, including standing on one leg with both eyes open and once again, with both closed. Seventy percent of the children’s mothers, whose alcohol consumption had been monitored at both 18 weeks of pregnancy and then again after birth, did not have any alcohol while pregnant. One in four of the mothers of the children tested had consumed small amounts of alcohol (what they categorized as about one glass a week or three to seven glasses a week). About one in 20 mothers drank more than that and one in seven of the mothers drank four or more glasses at any one point during the pregnancies.

The findings from the study showed that higher total alcohol consumption before and after pregnancy was associated with better performance by the children, particularly when it came to static balance. The recent research supports an earlier study published in April that found that pregnant women who drank small amounts of alcohol — about one glass a week — were not likely doing any harm to their children. A Professor at the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol, John Macleod, said, “Low to moderate alcohol consumption did not seem to interfere with a child’s ability to balance for any of the three components assessed,” but he was also careful to note that, “moderate alcohol intake was a marker for social advantage, which may itself be the key factor in better balance, possibly overriding subtle harmful effects of moderate alcohol use.”

While studies both in the past and more recently have come forward with findings supporting the fact that moms-to-be can have one glass of wine without harming their baby’s development, it continues to be a hot topic debate for so many. Research continues to show that the affect on baby years after birth is virtually nonexistent, as well as baby’s neurological abilities are better, but I still think it’s a hard sell for moms-to-be.

Would you feel comfortable having a class of wine a day while pregnant?

Plus, more from The Bump:

Alcohol During Pregnancy: Is a Little Okay?

Danger of Alcohol After Conception

Fun Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Pregnant Women