Pregnant Women

The consumption of alcoholic beverages in pregnant women can cause malformations of the embryo and their offspring may exhibit symptoms of foetal alcohol effects, or a collection of foetal alcohol effects called foetal alcohol syndrome; this relationship has been established for heavy alcohol consumption. A no-effect level to prevent harming the unborn child, however,  has not been established. This is the reason why alcoholic beverages should be avoided during pregnancy.


The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

BACKGROUND: Various human and animal studies suggest that peak alcohol exposure during a binge episode, rather than total alcohol exposure, may determine fetal development. Research about the impact of binge drinking on birth outcomes is sparse and inconclusive. Data from the Born in Bradford cohort study were used to explore the impact of binge drinking on birth outcomes. METHODS: Interview-administered questionnaire data about the lifestyle and social characteristics of 10 851 pregnancies were linked to maternity and birth data. The impact of self-reported binge drinking (5 units: 40 g of pure alcohol) on two birth outcomes (small for gestational age (SGA) and preterm birth (
The effects of alcohol consumption in adults are well described in the literature, while knowledge about the effects of alcohol consumption in children is more limited and less systematic. The present review shows how alcohol consumption may negatively influence the neurobiological and neurobehavioral development of humans. Three different periods of life have been considered: the prenatal term, childhood, and adolescence. For each period, evidence of the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol consumption, including neurodevelopmental effects and associations with subsequent alcohol abuse or dependence, is presented.
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether light drinking in pregnancy is linked to unfavourable developmental outcomes in children. DESIGN: Prospective population-based cohort. SETTING: UK. POPULATION: Ten thousand five hundred and thirty-four 7-year-olds. METHODS: Quasi-experimental using propensity score matching (PSM) to compare children born to light (up to 2 units per week) and non-drinkers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Behavioural difficulties rated by parents and teachers; cognitive test scores for reading, maths and spatial skills. RESULTS: Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and PSM analyses are presented. For behavioural difficulties, unadjusted estimates for percentage standard deviation (SD) score differences ranged from 2 to 14%. On adjustment for potential confounders, differences were attenuated, with a loss of statistical significance, except for teacher-rated boys' difficulties. For boys, parent-rated…
Background: This study examines the relationship between light drinking during pregnancy and the risk of socioemotional problems and cognitive deficits at age 5 years. Methods: Data from the nationally representative prospective UK Millennium Cohort Study (N=11 513) were used. Participants were grouped according to mothers' reported alcohol consumption during pregnancy: never drinker; not in pregnancy; light; moderate; heavy/binge. At age 5 years the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) and British ability scales (BAS) tests were administered during home interviews. Defined clinically relevant cut-offs on the SDQ and standardised scores for the BAS subscales were used. Results: Boys and girls born to light drinkers were less likely to have high total difficulties (for boys 6.6% vs 9.6%, OR=0.67, for girls 4.3%…
BACKGROUND: Concise, accurate measures of maternal prenatal alcohol use are needed to better understand fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). METHODS: Measures of drinking by mothers of children with specific FASD diagnoses and mothers of randomly-selected controls are compared and also correlated with physical and cognitive/behavioral outcomes. RESULTS: Measures of maternal alcohol use can differentiate maternal drinking associated with FASD from that of controls and some from mothers of alcohol-exposed normals. Six variables that combine quantity and frequency concepts distinguish mothers of FASD children from normal controls. Alcohol use variables, when applied to each trimester and three months prior to pregnancy, provide insight on critical timing of exposure as well. Measures of drinking, especially bingeing, correlate significantly with increased child dysmorphology…


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