It has always been a given that women should refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. But many women often unknowingly consume alcohol before realizing they are pregnant. A recent report from Yale University reveals that this consumption of low to moderate alcohol is not linked to an increased risk of specific birth conditions and growth deficiencies commonly associated with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Researchers investigated the effects of low levels of alcohol — one drink per week, on average — in over 4,000 women and infants. They examined neonatal results, including rates of:
- Congenital malformations
- Admission to a neonatal intensive care unit
The study showed that the 30% of women who drank low to moderate amounts of alcohol early on in their pregnancy had a reduced likelihood of low birth weight, small head circumference and short birth length.
Researchers make it clear that other factors, including healthier lifestyles, could also be attributed to these results. Further investigation is necessary to confirm these findings that contradict earlier beliefs about alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Birth Defects Often Develop in First Stages of Pregnancy
While this study may give peace of mind to newly expecting mothers who drink small amounts of alcohol when unknowingly pregnant, this initial stage of pregnancy is crucial when it comes to the development of a fetus and the onset risk of birth defects.
Screenings are performed at each trimester to test for abnormalities and indication of neural tube defects like spina bifida and chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome. Women are urged to take precaution against both consumption of alcohol and use of certain medications during pregnancy to prevent risk to babies.
Contact a Lawyer
Families rely on information from manufacturing companies given to the public and to their medical providers regarding the safety of its products. While refraining from alcohol use is in the control of pregnant women, dangerous outcomes related to mislabeling or failure to notify of defective drugs may not be. Drug manufacturers are liable for the harm and birth defects its products causes.
image credit: Yale News
If your baby was born with a birth defect and you took medication while pregnant, contact our law firm. There is no obligation and the case evaluation is free. We are here to answer questions about your legal rights and help you seek the justice you deserve.