One Bout of Drinking During Pregnancy Can Be Dangerous

OK, let's be honest. 

How many among us may have been guilty of a little drinking before we realized that (gasp!) we were a little late receiving our monthly visitor (and, oh my gosh, are my boobs sore!?) and then rushed to the store for a pregnancy test and then cried when that positive sign showed up and we remembered all the alcohol that we may or may not have ingested unknowingly while a baby was growing inside of us?

It happens, right?

And if you're anything like me, you're probably wondering just how dangerous that one bout of drinking during pregnancy was, and unfortunately, new research shows that even one instance of binge drinking during pregnancy can be risky. 

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Image via Flickr/ QuinnDombrowski

So what does the data show?

First the bad news: Even one instance of “binge drinking” was shown to have some pretty negative effects on a child's development–even at older ages, such as hyperactivity and mental problems at age 11. And not only that, the research showed that children of mothers who indulged in binge drinking also did worse at school overall. Yikes. 

And what was most interesting about this study is that it specifically looked at women who didn't regularly drink during pregnancy, so the results could show how much of an impact just drinking once could have on a developing fetus. 

But next, the good news: “Binge drinking” is still what many would consider a pretty large sum of alcohol. The study defined binge drinking as four or more alcoholic drinks, so what would amount to four glasses of wine or two pints of beer. So unless you're bar hopping regularly, those two glasses of wine you downed at dinner probably aren't going to hurt your baby drastically. 

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The study also only looked at women starting at week 18 in their pregnancies, so a woman who simply mistakenly drank a bit too much before she realized she was pregnant is most likely an entirely different scenario. Overall, Professor Kapil Sayal from the University of Nottingham, the report's main author, said that the results of the study showed that “women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant should be aware of the possible risks associated with episodes of heavier drinking during pregnancy, even if this only occurs on an occasional basis.”

Did you drink before you knew you were pregnant?

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One Bout of Drinking During Pregnancy Can Be Dangerous

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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