Tell your pregnant patients to have a cocktail?

January 1, 2008

A systematic review of the literature finds that maternal consumption of approximately one alcohol-containing drink per day doesn't seem to have any negative effects on pregnancy or the developing fetus. . .

A systematic review of the literature finds that maternal consumption of approximately one alcohol-containing drink per day doesn't seem to have any negative effects on pregnancy or the developing fetus, but the authors of the review stop short of claiming that any amount of alcohol is actually safe during pregnancy, blaming weaknesses in the studies.

The researchers included case-control, cohort, and cross-sectional studies published between January 1970 and July 2005 in English peer-reviewed journals and concerning the outcomes of miscarriage, stillbirth, intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, birth weight, small for gestational age at birth, and birth defects including fetal alcohol syndrome.

Compared with no maternal alcohol consumption, the authors of the review concluded that while low-to-moderate consumption of alcohol during pregnancy appears to have no adverse effects, the existing evidence makes it impossible to determine conclusively whether any level of intake is safe.