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Light drinking during pregnancy does not harm a child’s behavioural or intellectual development

Light drinking during pregnancy does not harm a young child’s behavioural or intellectual development, reveals research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

A previous study, by UCL’s Dr Yvonne  Kelly and colleagues including Professor Dieter Wolke from Warwick Medical School and the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick, of 3 year olds drew similar conclusions, but the authors wanted to rule out possible delayed “sleeper” effects in older children.

Co-author Prof. Dieter Wolke said:“A sound recommendation is not to drink alcohol during pregnancy. However, having the occasional drink, according to our research, has no adverse effect on the behavioural or intellectual development of the child even after taking into account a wide range of social variables. This should relieve some guilt for women who had the occasional drink. In contrast, moderate to heavy drinking can have severe adverse effects on the child.”

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