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Drinking during early pregnancy can lead to behavioural problems in later life

According to a recent study just one drink of alcohol per day during pregnancy could have a serious effect on the mood of children when their reach their teenage years.

A U.S. Study of 600 teenagers has found that anti-social behaviour is higher among those whose mothers drank alcohol regularly during the first three months of pregnancy.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, monitored 592 children from birth until they reached age 16. The researchers collected information about drinking habits of mothers, looking at the quantity which they drank and the frequency and pattern of their alcohol consumption. After analysing various factors, the scientists found that there was no extra risk linked to drinking in the latter half of pregnancy, though drinking throughout the early stages increased the risk of behavioural problems by three times.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has advised women to steer clear of alcohol whilst in the first three months of pregnancy, as various studies have suggested that heavy drinking during pregnancy is linked to foetal alcohol spectrum disorder in children which can lead to behavioural problems. This new research adds further weight to already existing evidence of the dangers of drinking whilst pregnant, and researchers hope that it will make mother’s to be consider their alcohol consumption more carefully.

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Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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