The effects of alcohol on an unborn child have long been a highly contested point, but a recent study conducted by researchers at Oxford and Bristol universities sways the conversation one way: the study concludes that ‘moderate’ use of alcohol while pregnant could lower a child’s IQ. The study’s conclusions present more grounds upon which to argue that pregnant alcohol abusers should seek alcohol addiction treatment—not just to ensure a mother’s health, but a child’s.
The researchers found that ‘moderate’ alcohol consumption—that is, six units a week, or the equivalent of one to two glasses of wine per week—can lower a child’s IQ by a few points. Although the effects are slight, the study attests to alcohol’s definite strain on an unborn child’s growth.
“Even at levels of alcohol consumption which are normally considered to be harmless, we can detect differences in childhood IQ which are dependent on the ability of the foetus to clear this alcohol,” Sarah Lewis, who led the study at Bristol University, told Reuters.
To be careful, doctors advise women to abstain from alcohol completely during the months of pregnancy.
“It is for individual women to decide whether or not to drink during pregnancy. We just want to provide the evidence. But I would recommend avoiding alcohol. Why take the risk?” Dr. Ron Gray, of Oxford University, told the BBC.
When accountable for not one person, but for another, it certainly is not worth it to risk the intelligence and development of someone who has no choice in the matter. In some cases, alcohol rehab ensures the healthfulness of not just one, but two people.