Feb, 2021 - By WMR
Children exposed to low-level alcohol use in the womb experienced more behavioral and psychological problems compared to unexposed children.
It is not safe to use alcohol at any time during pregnancy. Prenatal alcohol consumption leads to developmental and health problems for children. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) describes the range of effects that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Now, according to new research, low levels of prenatal alcohol consumption can affect a child's brain development and is linked to behavioral and psychological problems in youth, along with depression, poor attention, and anxiety.
The effect of prenatal alcohol on child development is unknown, and there has been widespread debate about a safe level of alcohol consumption. The researchers examined whether any alcohol use during pregnancy is linked to behavioral, psychological, cognitive, and neural differences in children (around 9,719) aged 9 to 10 years. The research was conducted to examine the effect of prenatal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Six drinks per week or one or two drinks per occasion are considered as low levels of drinking.
During this research, around 40% of them had been exposed to high-level alcohol use (seven or more drinks per week or three or more drinks per occasion), 60% had been exposed to low levels of alcohol, and 25% had been exposed to alcohol in the womb. The team found that children exposed to low levels of alcohol use in the womb experienced more behavioral and psychological problems compared to unexposed children. The probability of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the first six to seven weeks of pregnancy was increased by 25% in children exposed to heavy levels of alcohol use. According to the team, the more children exposed to alcohol in the womb, the more severe the results were. The research was published in September 2020 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.