A new study conducted by researchers at Bristol University has found that contrary to popular perception, moderate drinking of wine during pregnancy may not harm the unborn baby.
A number of recent studies have underlined the dangers of mothers drinking during pregnancy. However the extensive study by Bristol University researchers, which included more than 7,000 children whose mothers were known to have drunk alcohol during their pregnancies, did not find any strong evidence that drinking one glass wine a day had any adverse effect on the child.
The researchers conducted balance assessment tests on the children when they were 10 years old, including asking them to walk on a beam or making them stand static on one leg for 20 seconds. The researchers added that being able to do so pointed towards good brain development when in the womb. The study has been published in the online medical journal BMJ Open and was funded by Alcohol Research UK.
Says Dr James Nicholls, research manager at Alcohol Research UK, "The debate on advice to women in pregnancy is an important one, and many people will argue that the 'precautionary principle' of advising no alcohol at all should hold. However, while advice needs to be clear, we should also take note of evidence which points to the conclusion that small amounts of alcohol are not a significant risk."