Women, a zero alcohol quotient is highly conducive for the cognitive development of the baby in the womb, a new research has suggested. Infact, even moderated alcohol intake during the initial months can cause irreparable damage to the unborn child.
The study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Washington, has shown that those children, whose mothers had indulged in at least 2-6 drinks per week during pregnancy, had a significantly lower IQ as compared to the children of mothers who were off alcohol during pregnancy. The second trimester is considered especially important.
The research was done on 611 mother-child pairs, and the women were carefully observed during every trimester of their pregnancy. These women , were studied again , post delivery, at several stages of their children's growth- 8 months, 18 months, and 3,6 and 10 years of age. The child's IQ was gauged against the parameters of verbal, quantitative, and short-term memory tests, conducted at the age of 10.
The study proved conclusive that prenatal alcohol exposure could bring about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and even moderate indulgence in alcohol, particularly in the second trimester could hamper the child's mental development.
The lead author Jennifer Willford said "Although a small but significant percentage of children are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome each year, many more children are exposed to alcohol during pregnancy who do not meet criteria for FAS yet experience deficits in growth and cognitive function."