Could a glass of wine a day early in pregnancy yield better behaved kids? Maybe, according to results of a new study.
Researchers found that the children of women who were light or moderate drinkers (2 to 6 drinks per week or one per day) early in pregnancy tended to have “more positive” behavior than the children of mothers who did not drink at all early in pregnancy.
“This positive behavior meant that the children of light and moderate drinkers had less emotional and behavioral problems through childhood and adolescence,” Dr. Monique Robinson, from Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in West Perth, Western Australia, told Reuters Health by email.
The new findings, published in the obstetrics and gynecology journal BJOG, are based on 14 years’ worth of data in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study.
The women provided information on their weekly drinking habits during early pregnancy: 59 percent of women reported no drinking; 20 percent reported occasional drinking (up to one standard drink per week); 15 percent reported light drinking (2-6 drinks per week); 3 percent moderate drinking (7-10 per week); and 2 percent reported heavy drinking (11 or more per week).
The behavior of 2,370 children was assessed every 2-3 years between the ages of 2 and 14.
Compared with mothers who did not drink in the first 3 months of pregnancy, those who were light drinkers during this time had better behaved children over 14 years, as indicated by better scores on a standard checklist used by psychologists.