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Pregnant? Beware of alcohol!

health-and-fitness Updated: Nov 24, 2009 14:56 IST

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PregnancyMums-to-be who consume high levels of alcohol in late pregnancy are likely to give birth to aggressive kids, a new study has revealed.

The research team from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research suggests that the amount and timing of alcohol consumption in pregnancy affects child behaviour in different ways.

“Mothers who reported what we would classify as heavy drinking in the first trimester of pregnancy were nearly three times as likely to report that their child suffered with anxiety and/or depression or somatic complaints,” said lead author Colleen O'Leary.

“Those who drank moderately during that first trimester were twice as likely to report those types of behavioural issues for their child. Exposure to moderate or heavy levels of alcohol in late pregnancy increased the risk of aggressive types of behaviours in the child. This research suggests that both the timing and the intensity of alcohol exposure in the womb affect the type of behaviour problems expressed,” she added.

The researchers classified moderate exposure as drinking 3-4 standard drinks per occasion- that''s about two normal glasses of wine-and no more than a bottle of wine drunk over a week.

Heavy drinking included women who were drinking the equivalent of more than a bottle of wine per week.

O'Leary said health professionals can assist by talking to women of child bearing age about their alcohol consumption and encouraging pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy to abstain from alcohol.