Hey, Baby, Want a Little Booze With That Amniotic Fluid?

Filed under: News, In The News, Weird But True, Alcohol & Drugs, Pregnancy Health, New In Pop Culture, Research Reveals

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Drinking while pregnant: How bad is it really? Credit: Getty Images

You're a fetus living in a one-womb apartment in London.

Every day, it's the same old grind. You give your mum a few swift kicks, develop some new brain cells, knock back some amniotic fluid and go to bed. How boring. And let's face it: Amniotic fluid just doesn't have any kick to it.

Go ahead, mate. Have a snort. You know you want one.

Is that your mum looking all nervous? Tell her to chill out. Despite all the fuss and feathers about how pregnant women shouldn't drink alcohol, British researchers are now saying a little vino isn't going to hurt expectant mothers or their unborn babies.

Just don't get snockered.

"Light drinking is fine, but heavy and binge drinking should be avoided," Anthony Falconer, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, tells the Guardian in London.

Of course, even if you're not pregnant, you might want to find a hobby other than binge drinking.

Still, this is Great Britain, where you can legally buy booze at 18 and enjoy a sherry with your folks in a restaurant at 16.

But this new research takes sharing a drink with your parents to a whole new level.

The Guardian reports that pregnant women who drank one or two units of alcohol a week didn't harm their children. By age 5, children were still doing well -- able to walk straight lines and touch their noses with the tips of their fingers.

The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Researchers looked at 11,500 children born between September 2000 and January 2002. Their mums were interviewed in person about their drinking patterns while they were pregnant.

Again -- and researchers can't seem to stress this enough -- bringing a kegger to your baby shower and getting stewed to the gills is not a good idea.

One of the study's authors, Yvonne Kelly of the University College London's department of epidemiology and public health, tells the Guardian people should keep the researchers' findings in perspective.

"This isn't about heavy consumption or fetal alcohol syndrome in any sense or about binge drinking," she adds. "It is about the occasional drink and whether that is associated with developmental problems."

The British government spends a lot of money telling pregnant women to stay off the booze.

Far be it from scientists to contradict the government, Kelly tells the Guardian. But ... "I'm not sure we're in the business of acting as advocates, but if women have information, it is plausible that they can make informed choices," she says.

British officials tell the Guardian they will continue to promote teetotaling among pregnant women. It's a case of better safe than sorry, a government spokesperson tells the newspaper.

"After assessing the available evidence, we cannot say with confidence that drinking during pregnancy is safe and will not harm your baby," the spokesperson says. "Therefore, as a precautionary measure, our advice to pregnant women and women trying to conceive is to avoid alcohol."


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.