Alcohol consumption doesn't lead to pregnancy complications


Expectant mothers might not need to worry about a glass of wine, according to new research published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.


Expectant mothers might not need to worry about a glass of wine, according to new research published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Researchers at Cork University Maternity Hospital studied data from 5628 nulliparous pregnant participants, who had been recruited to a prospective cohort study, the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints study. The women were interviewed at 15 weeks’ gestation and submitted a questionnaire about their alcohol intake before and during the pregnancy.

Occasional alcohol consumption-1 to 2 alcohol units per week-was reported by 1090 (19%) of the participants and low alcohol consumption-3 to 7 units per week-was reported by 1383 (25%) of women. Three hundred (5%) reported heavy alcohol consumption (>14 units per week). Roughly a third of the participants  (n = 1905) reported binge consumption, meaning drinking 6 or more alcohol units in one sitting, in the 3 months prior to pregnancy and 23% (n = 1288) indicated that they had binged on alcohol at some point during the first 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Altered odds for small-for-gestational age infant, reduced birth weight, preeclampsia, or spontaneous preterm delivery were not seen in women who consumed alcohol during early pregnancy, even those who reported heavy or binge consumption. The study’s authors stressed that although no adverse effects were seen in the study, no level of alcohol consumption  during pregnancy is proven safe.

What do you think of this study? Will you be using it to reassure patients who consumed alcohol before discovering their pregnancy? Alternatively, do you find that these sorts of studies only confuse your patients?



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