By Staff Writer
Women who struggle with alcoholism may want to consider seeking substance abuse treatment before becoming pregnant. Two recent studies confirm the idea that drinking during pregnancy can cause significant harm to unborn children.
The first study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, found that pregnant women who consumed seven or more drinks per week were 4.6 times more likely to have a child born with birth defects. There was little association between low to moderate drinking and birth defects.
Shortly after the findings of that study were published, researchers from University College London announced the findings of a similar investigation. These results showed that children who were born to mothers that drank during pregnancy are more likely to have behavioral problems by the time they reach age 5. They also found that boys were more likely to have cognitive problems.
A mother’s alcohol use during pregnancy use is one of the top causes of preventable birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency says that women who are thinking about becoming pregnant should stop drinking entirely.