How much alcohol is safe during pregnancy has been a topic of research and debate among the medical scientists and there have been conflicting reports on this issue. A major study in Ireland has now looked at this issue once again to determine the quantity of alcohol that can be safely consumed by a pregnant women. The findings are surprising as it find low reporting of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) though from the medical faculty though 81% women consumed alcohol.
A closer look at data on more than 61,000 expectant mothers reveals that drinking is common among women during their peri-conceptional period and more attention needs to be paid in educating young women about fetal alcohol syndrome.
AdvertisementDuring the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 61,241 expectant mothers between 2000 and 2007. They also had a look at the women's self-reported alcohol consumption and rated it as "low", "moderate", or "high". Low consumption was accounted as 5 or fewer drinks per week, moderate - 6 to 20 drinks per week, and high - 20 and more drinks per week. Researchers noticed that 20% were non-drinkers, almost 70% came into the "low" category, nearly a 10% fell into the "moderate" category, and only 0.2% actually reported as "high" consumers. Approximately 81% of the mothers reported consuming alcohol around the time of conception.
Dr. Deirdre J Murphy of Trinity College, Dublin, author of the study, explained that the study did found correlation between heavy drinking during or just after conception and miscarriages. What surprised the researchers most was a "non-spike" in cases of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), leading them to speculate that FAS is being under-reported in Ireland.
Researchers strongly believe that health services need to do more in identifying women who are drinking heavily in the early stages of their pregnancy.
In a concluding note, Professor Murphy said, "This study emphasizes the need for improved detection of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and for early intervention in order to minimize the risks to the developing fetus. We would recommend that further research is required before even low amounts of alcohol can be considered safe."