New research from the University of Sydney has found that even the smallest dose of alcohol during pregnancy can affect a baby’s brain development and it is linked to major psychological and behavioral problems in young people, including anxiety, depression, and attention deficit.
The study was published on September 25 in the American Journal of Psychiatry and was led by the University Matilda Center for Mental Health and Substance Use Research.
The effects of small amounts of alcohol on the development of the baby during pregnancy are relatively unknown, and there has been extensive debate about the safe level of alcohol consumption.
The researchers investigated whether any dose of alcohol consumption during pregnancy was associated with psychological, behavioral, nervous and cognitive changes in children aged 9-10 years. With a selection of 9719 young people, this is the largest study to examine the effects of low alcohol intake during pregnancy. Low alcohol intake meant one or two glasses at a time, and a maximum of six a week.
“Our research has shown that even small doses of alcohol during pregnancy can significantly affect the development of the baby’s brain. Older studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy, say excessive drinking, can harm the baby. “Consumption of any amount, even in very small doses, is associated with almost unnoticed but very significant behaviors and psychological effects in children, including anxiety, depression and attention deficit disorder,” said Miss Brian Lee, lead author of the study and Matilda Center PhD candidate.
- In this study, 25 percent of children were exposed to alcohol while pregnant; 60 percent of them – small doses, and the remaining 40 – large doses. A large dose means drinking three or more glasses at a time and a total of 7 or more glasses a week.
- Children whose mothers drank small doses of alcohol at any stage of pregnancy had more psychological/emotional (including anxiety, depression, and self-loathing) and behavioral (including attention deficit and impulsivity) problems than children whose parents did not drink alcohol during pregnancy. Received.
- Children who received higher doses of alcohol during the first 6-7 weeks of pregnancy (approximately 36 glasses per week) were 25 percent more likely to develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
- High alcohol intake in early pregnancy was also associated with delinquency and aggression in children, and there was an approximately 30 percent increased risk of such a child being diagnosed with Opposition-Behavioral Behavior Disorder (ODD).
- Differences in brain volume and surface area were found in children under the influence of alcohol, which caused them psychological and behavioral problems.
- The amount of drink taken during pregnancy varied between 0-90 cups, with an average of 27. Most drinks were taken in the first 6-7 weeks before learning about the pregnancy.