New study claims drinking while pregnant could lead to better me - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

New study claims drinking while pregnant could lead to better mental health in kids

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

An age-old debate is getting some new steam thanks to a recent Danish study.

A study from the University of Copenhagen is raising some eyebrows about the correlation between children's mental health and whether or not their mothers drank during their pregnancy.

"Overall, we found no significant associations between exposure to low dose of alcohol and emotional and behavioral development at age seven However we did find that the children with the most favorable outcomes at age seven  were the children of the mothers who drank the highest quantities during  pregnancy. The children with the poorest outcomes  were those whose mother abstained during pregnancy. It was concluded that the cause of this was due to the large discrepancies found in the background characteristics of the participants," the study claimed.

Dr. Ben Spitalnick, with Pediatric Associates of Savannah, said he gets this question all the time from parents.

"Overall, it's not a good idea. You don't need to drink while pregnant," he said.

"My conclusion was that seven year olds born to mothers who drank small quantities of alcohol during their pregnancies did significantly better emotionally and behaviourally at age seven that the children of mothers who did not drink anything  during  pregnancy. However it is important to emphasise that this is not an invitation to pregnant women to drink alcohol", the study's author, Janni Niclasen, wrote.

Dr. William Osborne, an Ob/GYN with decades of experience, advises mothers not to drink while pregnant and said he is skeptical of the study because it did not consider Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

"Those kids are still young to be able to manifest some of the things that we would be interested in with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome."

Both doctors say the decision is between and mother and her doctor, but they say the risk is not simply not worth it.

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