Avoid alcohol during pregnancy but low levels may not cause harm

Low to moderate drinking in the early stages of pregnancy had no significant effects on the neuropsychological development of five-year-old children, a new study has found.

Children whose mothers consumed eight drinks or less per week during pregnancy had no significant difference in test performances on IQ or executive functions such as planning compared with children whose mothers abstained from alcohol.

However, the study also found that high levels of weekly alcohol consumption (nine or more drinks) were linked with lower attention spans in five-year-old children and suggested that abstention was still the safest choice. Further research on the long term effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is needed.

Read more at Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen