New research has shown that light drinking during pregnancy may not be harmful to babies.
|Women who drink one or two glasses of wine a week during pregnancy are not doing any harm to their babies, a major new study has found.
A study of 12,500 three-year-olds carried out by researchers at University College London found that pregnant women who drink one or two units a week do not appear to increase their child's risk of developing behavioural problems.
Although the researchers warned that moderate and heavy drinking during pregnancy still carries major health risks for the growing foetus, the toddlers in the study whose mothers had drunk ocassionally were not found to be harmed.
Dr Yvonne Kelly, who led the study, said: "Our research has found that light drinking by pregnant mothers does not increase the risk of behavioural problems and cognitive defects.
"Our study's findings do raise questions as to whether the current push for policy to recommend complete abstinence during pregnancy is merited and suggest that further research needs to be done."
However Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, told the BBC that there was a risk that the research would lead women to think they had the green light to go ahead and drink during pregnancy.
She stood by the BMA's guidelines to abstain from alcohol altogether during pregnancy as she said this was the "simplest and safest" advice.