The medical consensus holds that pregnant women need to stop drinking in order to avoid harming their babies, but some conventional wisdom and myths temper that advice with the understanding that an occasional drink is OK. The latter line of thinking — reflected half-mockingly in the latest episode of Justified — is false and potentially dangerous, according to a University of California San Diego study.
USA Today reports the study found that different amounts, timing and frequency of drinking resulted in fetal alcohol syndrome, which is believed to cause physical and mental abnormalities in infants. About 1 percent of the U.S. population suffers from the syndrome.
The study, which appeared in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, pinpointed the second half of the first trimester as the point in the pregnancy as the period in which physical manifestations of fetal alcohol syndrome were most likely to develop.
That doesn’t mean that there’s any particularly safe or less-harmful time to drink during pregnancy. Pregnant women who have trouble halting their drinking should enlist all the help they can to give their babies the best chance of proper development.
Study: No alcohol intake safe during pregnancy [USA Today]