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New research reinforces danger of drinking alcohol while pregnant
Date:2/14/2014

ation have specific effects in the placenta.

"Placental growth is reduced in comparison to non-exposed placentas, suggesting that in the long-term, there could be consequences to how much support the infant receives from the placenta during the rest of the pregnancy after this exposure."

Dr Clare Tower, consultant obstetrician at Saint Mary's Hospital part of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Though low levels of alcohol did not have a harmful effect, moderate to high levels were damaging. The safest clinical advice would be to agree with the current Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology guidelines and abstain. This is because UK studies show that there is still a lot of confusion in the perception of what alcohol 'units' are, as well as a lack of accurate self-monitoring of drinking levels.

Professor John Aplin, Professor of Reproductive Biomedicine in the Tommy's Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre at the University, said "This research also suggests that women who are trying to conceive should not drink as the damage caused by alcohol can happen very early on in pregnancy perhaps before a woman knows she is pregnant."

Jane Brewin, Chief Executive of baby charity Tommy's, said: "It can often be a few weeks before a woman discovers she's pregnant, and this research shows that moderate drinking during those vital first weeks can have a big impact on the development of the baby.

"Many pregnancies are unplanned, but for those actively planning a family this research raises questions about whether women should consider their alcohol intake even before they fall pregnant."


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Contact: Alison Barbuti
alison.barbuti@manchester.ac.uk
44-016-127-58383
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

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