It's OK to have an occasional alcoholic drink during pregnancy, says new Australian research.
The study, which says a glass or two of wine is not harmful for expectant mothers and their unborn children, is set to spark controversy.
It contradicts new guidelines about to be released by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
A study of more than 4700 pregnant women in WA found that low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy - less than seven standard drinks a week and no more than two drinks at a time - were not associated with preterm birth or reduced fetal growth.
But the findings, published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology this week, say even one binge drinking session in which more than five drinks are consumed - can adversely affect pregnancies.
The researchers, from the Centre for Child Health Research at the University of WA, say moderate and high levels of drinking in early pregnancy are linked with an increased risk of preterm birth, even when women stop drinking before the second trimester.
They say the findings show the pattern and timing of drinking are important when estimating risks and suggest pregnant women be screened for binge drinking.
New NHMRC guidelines say that since no safe level of alcohol has been demonstrated in pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option, write in Sydney Morning Herald.