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Study may Keep away Oz Pregnant Women from Wine

Posted: Monday, 19 November 2012 13:50

Study may Keep away Oz Pregnant Women from Wine

November 19: If the Oz women take seriously the recent study that says pregnant women who drink as little as one glass of wine a week could run the risk of lowering their child's IQ , the 80 per cent of Australians who are supposed to be drinking alcohol at low-to-moderate levels during pregnancy, may consider avoiding it and bring the percentage down, close to 12 per cent in Sweden and 10 per cent in the US.

But a new British study by researchers from Oxford and Bristol universities says even that could prove risky. Doctor Rob Gray from Oxford University warns, "Moderate drinking might be harmful during pregnancy, and it's best to avoid it," according to a report.

Advice on how much women can drink during their pregnancy has varied over the years, with a couple of glasses of wine per week once considered acceptable in Australia. The same quantity has generally been acceptable in countries like Italy. Danish recommended diet includes up to 4 small glasses (125 mL)  a week, not more than one a  night and preferably not on consecutive days.

The study does not specify the number of pregnant women surveyed but claims to have surveyed ‘thousands of mothers and their children, and some of them were found to be genetically less able to process alcohol’. It was discovered that children of mothers who drank up to two glasses of wine in a week during their pregnancies, scored slightly lower in IQ tests than children whose mothers abstained.

According to the University of Queensland, about 80 per cent of Australian women consume alcohol at low-to-moderate levels during pregnancy, compared to about 12 per cent in Sweden and 10 per cent in the US. Professor Caroline Homer has been a midwife for more than 20 years. Her advice to expectant mothers is to avoid alcohol altogether. She also gives an unprecedented advice that those who consider having a baby should give up drinking a few months beforehand.

'We just don't know what the effects are on the developing baby. There are genetic changes that are possible with all consumption of toxins, so it's just really important not to put anything in your body that could cause a problem," Ms Homer says.

National antenatal guidelines which make the same recommendations are due to be released in the coming weeks and may be available at the following website:

Wine in Maternity Ward Menus

Though the high percentage of Oz women drinking wine moderately may not be  surprising to the non-Australians, it would shock some that maternity wards in the hospitals offer wine in the Menu thus encouraging the pregnant wine drinkers and making them believe that wine for pregnant women has the medical approval .

"With all we now know about the effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, we must urge hospitals not to serve alcohol to women in maternity hospitals," warns Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Chris Baggoley, who wants hospitals to take wine off the menu in their maternity wards.

Australian Private Hospitals Association chief executive Michael Roff reportedly said on Saturday that most maternity wards offered wine with meals. "My understanding is that most private obstetric centers would offer wine as part of the menu," he said, adding that it seems unbelievable that long ago patients could smoke in the hospital, implying that in future wine might be removed from the menus.

For earlier related articles, pl click:

Study: Moderate Drinking may not Harm Pregnancy
Study: Light Drink Not Bad during Pregnancy
Study Condones Wine during Pregnancy
Wine & Health: Wine and Pregnant Woman


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