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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Contributor
November 24, 2012

Avoid the Shot: Alcohol May Negatively Affect Your Unborn Child’s IQ

Lay off the bottle for the sake of your child's cognitive development. By Charlene J. Owen

Moms-to-be, this is for you. What you consume is what the little one in your belly also consumes, so it may be wise for you to say no to that glass of champagne being offered during your baby shower. According to a recent study posted on, alcohol, even in small amounts, may affect your child’s IQ.

These findings were based on research done by scientists from the University of Bristol and Oxford. They reviewed data from more than 4,000 mothers and children who participated in the Children of the 90s study (ALSPAC). Genetic variations were used to investigate the effects of mothers’ moderate alcohol intake on fetuses. 

Another trial was made by asking pregnant mothers to fill out surveys in their 18th and 32nd weeks about how much alcohol they have consumed during their terms. Once their children have been born and have reached their eighth year, they were give tests in order to measure their IQs.

The findings showed that differences in IQ could be detected, depending on how long the fetus can process and clear the alcohol it has absorbed from the mother. This goes to show that even minimal consumption of alcohol may lead to adverse effects on unborn children.

For the time being, better steer clear of spirits. You might miss the buzz, but just think of abstinence as a sacrifice for your baby. In the long run, it will prove to be beneficial for both you and your child.

(Photo by DIVA007 via Flickr Creative Commons)

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