The influence of low-level alcohol use during pregnancy on child development is relatively unknown, and there has been a huge debate about whether there is a safe level of consumption.
‘Even a couple of drinks during pregnancy can have a significant influence on a child’s brain development, leading to depression, anxiety, and poor attention in youth.
The study analyzed nearly 10,000 kids aged between nine and 11 found that exposure to alcohol, even in low levels in the womb during pregnancy, exhibited more behavioral and psychological problems than children who were not exposed.
A low level of alcohol use is defined as no more than six drinks per week.
In the largest research of its kind, the study examined 9,719 youth to investigate the relationship between a small amount of alcohol consumption in pregnancy and the psychological, behavioral, neural, and cognitive differences in kids aged nine to 10 years old, hoping to find out the safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy.
“Our research found that even small alcohol amounts consumed while pregnant can have a significant influence on a child’s brain development,” stated lead author, Briana Lees from the Matilda Center.
“The data distinctly indicates that there is no completely safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.”