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Friday, October 31, 2008

Drinking and child behaviour

Friday October 31 2008

Blessing of a weekly tipple in pregnancy,” reports the Times today, claiming that expectant mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy do not harm their unborn babies, but they ‘may even benefit’. The Daily Express featured the headline "wine during pregnancy 'helps control your child’." The papers’ claims are based on a study of over 12,000 children that found that mothers who drink lightly during pregnancy (one or two units, or a single drink a week) did not increase their risk of having offspring with mental impairment or behavioural problems.

This study did not show any overall benefits or “blessings” from drinking as a casual reader of the headline might think, and several design issues make it impossible to be confident in the finding that light drinking during pregnancy is not harmful.

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