Medicine

'Very little evidence' that light drinking in pregnancy causes harm to babies

'Very little evidence' that light drinking in pregnancy causes harm to babies

There is "surprisingly limited" proof that light drinking while pregnant causes harm to the unborn baby, says a new study.

Prof. Russell Viner, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "My advice to women is that it's best not to drink at all if you're trying for a baby or are pregnant". It wouldn't be ethical to recruit one group of pregnant women and ask them to drink alcohol regularly, then compare their babies to those who had no exposure to alcohol in utero.

Last year Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, issued fresh guidance on alcohol, saying: "Although the risk of harm to the baby is low if [mothers] have drunk small amounts of alcohol before becoming aware of the pregnancy, there is no "safe" level of alcohol to drink when you are pregnant".

The study systematically reviewed all the data from a wide range of high quality observational studies on the impact of light drinking - around 32g of alcohol, which works out at three standard drinks in Irish units.

The team found 26 previously published studies on the topic and looked at all the results together, the BBC reported.

Plus, many women may drink alcohol before they find out they're pregnant.

The review underlined that drinking four units of alcohol a week was associated with a 10 percent increase in the risk of premature birth. Research on the potential risks of light drinking during pregnancy is really scarce.

More news: Trevor Siemian, Broncos' defense do just enough to get opening win
More news: Gas Prices Rise 4.4 Cents In Chattanooga
More news: The FA threaten fans with lifetime bans for new Alvaro Morata chant

Some experts believe the new total abstinence guidelines are based on "generally weak" evidence and that women should be warned of any potential risks and then left to make up their own mind without being made to feel guilty if they have one or two drinks a week.

The occasional glass of wine or champagne during pregnancy can not be considered safe due to a lack of evidence and alcohol must be avoided, researchers warn. Therefore, all doctors tell women to avoid drinking high units of alcohol.

There is no proven "safe" amount that women can drink while pregnant, although there is plenty of evidence on the risky risks of heavy drinking. But they added: "However, describing the paucity of current research and explaining that ¬Ďabsence of evidence is not evidence of absence', appears warranted".

"Formulating guidance on the basis of the current evidence is challenging". But women who do drink small amounts during their pregnancy can be reassured that they are not likely to have caused any danger to their baby's health.

Experts still recommend not drinking any alcohol while pregnant.

The new paper was "well done" and the conclusions were "appropriate", said 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 report advising no alcohol during pregnancy.

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


  • IAA 2017: All you need to know about the Frankfurt Motor Show

    IAA 2017: All you need to know about the Frankfurt Motor Show

    They are all hoping to hit ambitious hybrid and all-electric auto sales targets with a flood of new models by the mid 2020s. The bonnet and the front guards are cleaner, while the LED headlights "point the way towards production", VW says.
    Israeli drugmaker Teva picks Lundbeck's Schultz

    Israeli drugmaker Teva picks Lundbeck's Schultz

    Yet, the analyst anticipates under Schultz's command, Tesla now has "more visibility" as it attempts a much-needed turnaround. That overhaul included job cuts and the restructuring of its business, which last year returned the firm to full-year profit.
    Tesla helps Florida owners escape Hurricane Irma

    Tesla helps Florida owners escape Hurricane Irma

    Previously, these vehicles were limited to a driving range of around 210 miles on a single charge. That's due to Tesla using an unforeseen feature of their over-the-air software update system.
  • There's A New Trump In Town!

    There's A New Trump In Town!

    Ivanka Trump, who has three kids with husband and fellow White House adviser Jared Kushner, also offered her congratulations. Eric's older brother Donald Trump Jr ., who has five children, was quick to publicly rib the new father and mother.
    Branson shares Hurricane Irma photos detailing destruction

    Branson shares Hurricane Irma photos detailing destruction

    The news from other islands in Irma's path was grim, with reports of widespread devastation and destruction. He explained: "We are very fortunate to have a strong cellar built into Necker's Great House".
    Hurricane Harvey fundraiser created by former United States  presidents

    Hurricane Harvey fundraiser created by former United States presidents

    Bush Presidential Library Foundation, which will oversee all the donations and keep them in a special account. All five former US presidents have come together in one video to raise money toward Hurricane Harvey relief.
  • Thousands March in Sydney for Marriage Equality

    Thousands March in Sydney for Marriage Equality

    The survey forms with the question "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?" will be mailed to voters from this Tuesday.
    US stops short of admonishing Myanmar for attacks on Rohingya

    US stops short of admonishing Myanmar for attacks on Rohingya

    A Rohingya family reaches the Bangladesh border after crossing a creek of the Naf river on the border with Myanmmar. The ongoing clash between the two parties has led to at least 400 deaths and the exodus of about 1,60,000 people.
    Hamas leaders discuss internal Palestinian reconciliation with Egypt

    Hamas leaders discuss internal Palestinian reconciliation with Egypt

    Egypt joined Israel in its siege on Gaza in 2013, following the overthrow of President Mohamad Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood. This was the first time since being appointed to his position in May that Haniyeh has left the Hamas-controlled territory.
  • India, Afghanistan committed to fighting cross-border terrorism

    India, Afghanistan committed to fighting cross-border terrorism

    India will provide more assistance to Afghan defense forces and implement new development projects in the war-torn country. India has given four military helicopters to Afghanistan and imparted training to hundreds of Afghan security personnel.
    Koeman: 'Not realistic' for Everton FC to rival Spurs yet

    Koeman: 'Not realistic' for Everton FC to rival Spurs yet

    However, an excellent 3-0 win at Everton after the global break, during which Kane scored a brace of goals, got Spurs back on track.
    US Open: Nadal beats Kevin Anderson to win

    US Open: Nadal beats Kevin Anderson to win

    Anderson powered 10 aces compared to one from Nadal, but he made 40 unforced errors to just 11 from Nadal. Nadal's win on Sunday was the latest chapter in an epic story of domination by the sport's superstars.