A new study reveals light drinking may benefit your baby. Would you risk it?
Therefore, medical professionals are continuing to give the same advice as before. Pregnant mothers should drink no more than two units a week during pregnancy and if they want to be more certain their baby is safe, they should abstain during pregnancy altogether.
Why would you want to take the chance of harming your baby? It's highly unlikely a mother's drinking makes a child smarter and the reverse is usually true. So how would we explain these findings?
Instead of a narrow focus on whether the mother was drinking or not drinking, we need to broaden the focus to include the personality of the mother. It may be that the mothers who drink lightly during pregnancy are intelligent women who weigh the options and the consequences, then make up their own minds. They are cautious rule-breakers, if you will. They are rule-breakers because they have made a decision to drink in spite of the received wisdom of abstinence. However, they are cautious because they have limited their intake. Since they have decided to drink at this time, they are probably also sociable and gregarious. Being reared by a mother such as this may well account for children who are emotionally balanced, have few behavioural problems and have good cognitive skills.
There is little doubt that research stretches our knowledge, we need to question the questioners about the focus of their studies. This is particularly so when we are investigating a topic that can have alternative, non-biological explanations. At those times, there are good reasons why there should be a multidisciplinary research team.
Perhaps the positive aspect of this research is it will free pregnant women from the tight strictures that society can put on them and remove their guilt. However, we need to be careful that we don't imbue alcohol with the powers of some wonder drug that can magically transform fetuses into geniuses. It is almost certain that the truth is what it has always been, good mothers who have balanced attitudes tend to raise well-adjusted kids.