New research indicates that even light to moderate drinking should be avoided as it may interfere with learning and memory in children as late as adolescence. Researchers define light drinking as three or less drinks per week, and moderate drinking is more than three drinks a week, but less than one drink per day.
Previous studies have shown that drinking heavily during pregnancy could lead to major impairments in growth, behavior, and cognitive function in children. However the recent study shows that even small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can have a significant impact on child development. The exposure to alcohol is also found to causes growth delays in children. These deficits were specific to alcohol exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy and remained significant after other variables were controlled. The researchers say these cognitive deficits have important implications for intellectual potential, school achievement, and future cognitive abilities.
Researchers thus say that there is no safe level of drinking during pregnancy and there is no safe time to drink during pregnancy. Specialists say women need this information before pregnancy recognition and their first visit to an obstetrician so that they may make better choices about drinking if they are planning to become, or think that they may be pregnant.