Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Alcohol in pregnancy

One of today's headlines is the news that drinking one or two glasses of wine per week whilst pregnant increases the risk of lowering the IQ of the baby. This was also carried in the regional paper for the north of Scotland, the Press and Journal. The closing lines of the P&J article run as follows:

Dr Simon Newell, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "We already know that an estimated 6,000 babies a year in the UK are born with problems as a result of heavy alcohol consumption by their mothers while pregnant. It is impossible to say what constitutes a "safe" amount of alcohol, so our advice is don't take the chance with your baby's health - don't drink at all".

The P&J adds an editorial which runs as follows:

So researchers are now telling pregnant women that having a glass of wine once a week could reduce their child's IQ. The difficulty with research, of course, is that much of it is intelligent supposition based on, by its very nature, limited findings. It creates confusion and mixed messages, but most women are far too sensible to be swayed by these kinds of messages anyway. We know the dangers drink can have and ultimately know that a little glass of wine now and again won't kill us. Often our bodies are the best guide one can have, not a researcher with a message to sell.

I wonder who is right...

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