Drinking alcohol while pregnant has never been encouraged by the medical community.
In fact, doctors have long advised their “with child” patients to abstain until after the child is born.
So the results of a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health are sure to generate plenty of debate.
Researchers at two universities in England surveyed more than 10,000 new mothers, focusing on their drinking habits during pregnancy and the subsequent development of their children, in terms of both behavior and intellect.
According to the study, women who had one or two drinks per week during pregnancy had children who were 30 percent less likely to exhibit behavioral problems.
The scientists did not proffer a cause-and-effect theory, however. Instead, they connected the dots and concluded that light drinkers tend to be more highly educated and, thus, better prepared for parenthood’s challenges.
The study also showed that the children of the light-drinking mothers suffered no signs of developmental impairment. But they stopped well short of even suggesting that light alcohol consumption helped development.
The conclusion drawn by the researchers: Moderate consumption of alcohol (defined here as one or two drinks per week) does not provide a risk to the child.