Text Size

Drinking During Different Stages of Pregnancy Causes Varying Behavioral Problems

posted 10:33 PM EST, Sun November 22, 2009
-- filed under: | | | |
Drinking During Different Stages of Pregnancy Causes Varying Behavioral Problems © Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs

Australian researchers say that drinking during early pregnancy seems to elevate the risks of childhood depression or anxiety while drinking during later pregnancy elevates the risks of aggressive childhood behaviors.

Doctors have long known that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to childhood behavioral problems, but a team of Australian researchers wanted to know how childhood behavior was effected by different levels of drinking during different stages of pregnancy.

To find out, the scientists, out of the Perth Telethon Institute for Child Research, administered a questionnaire to a random sample of 2000 new mothers at 3 months following childbirth. The mothers were asked about alcohol consumption during different stages of their pregnancy.

The researchers then revisited each mother at 2, 5 and 8 years for data on each child’s development.

The Results:

  • Moms who drank heavily in the first trimester had kids who were 300% as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety or sleep complaints.
  • Moms who drank at moderate to heavy levels in the later stages of a pregnancy had kids who were more likely to display aggressive behaviors.

Moderate drinking was considered to be 3-4 drinks per sitting and no more than the equivalent of a bottle of wine per week. Those who drank more than the equivalent of a bottle of wine per week were classified as heavy drinkers.

The researchers caution women who drank during pregnancy not to worry excessively, saying, “Not every smoker gets lung cancer despite them being at higher risk - and in this case, not every child will be affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol.”

Most health organizations currently recommend abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy as the best and safest course of action.

The full research findings can be read in the November 2009 online edition of the journal, Addiction.

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Helpful Information
Alcohol Addiction – the Straight Facts
Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism) – Learn the Facts © Josep Salvia I Bote
The difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction (alcoholism), what puts you at risk of becoming an alcoholic and what to do once you’ve crossed that invisible line to addiction. Read Article
Addictions February 22, 2013
An Alcoholism Progression Timeline
A Timeline Charting the Progressive Nature of Alcoholism © Flannol
Here are 2 facts about alcoholism: It tends to get worse over time (it is progressive) and most people experience a fairly similar progression of symptoms and consequences. Here is a timeline which charts the progressive experiences of alcoholism through the early, middle and late stages. If you have a drinking problem, find out where you fall on the timeline and consider what’s coming in the future. Read Article
Alcoholism July 11, 2013 (12)
Alcohol Abuse and Stomach Pain? It's Probably Gastritis Heavy drinking can cause acute or chronic stomach pain. Read Article
Alcoholism April 04, 2008 (42)
Like Our Site? Follow Us!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.