The key to a healthy pregnancy is moderation. You’ve no doubt heard this sentiment before. According to Discovery News, moderate drinking during pregnancy has now been linked to miscarriage. As few as two glasses of alcohol a week can cause a miscarriage in early pregnancy.
The study reported on by Discovery News indicated that just two cocktails, whether beers or glasses of wine, per week could potentially increase a woman’s chance of early miscarriage by up to 66 percent. The new study replaces some older evidence indicating light drinking during pregnancy is okay, thus building a case that the best choice is to play it safe and say no to alcohol altogether if you are a gestating woman.
The Study: Pregnancy and Drinking
Live Science reports that even a small amount of alcohol could increase the risk of miscarriage during the first three to four months of gestation. The study collected data from almost 93,000 pregnant women from 1996 to 2003 who were part of the Danish National Birth Cohort. Dr. Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, the lead author of the study, said the findings of the study “were [a] surprise” and revealed “there was no safe lower limit of alcohol.”
According to the research project, the best course of action for expectant mothers is to avoid alcohol altogether. Abstaining from all alcohol for the duration of the pregnancy dramatically lowers the rate of miscarriage and potential birth defects.
Heavy Drinking Doubles the Miscarriage Risk
Mothers participating in the study were surveyed on how much alcohol they drank on a weekly basis during the first three to four months of pregnancy. They were also asked how much and how often they smoked and drank coffee, their occupation, and their reproductive history.
The mothers were then sorted into four different groups based on the average number of alcoholic beverages consumed; none, one-half to one-and-one-half, two to three, or more than four per week. Women placing in the fourth category manifest a miscarriage rate 50 percent higher than those who did not drink, adding to the evidence that heavy drinking during pregnancy can be life threatening to the unborn child.
Your Health and Miscarriage
According to Parents.com, a woman’s health dramatically affects the chances of a miscarriage. The most common cause is a genetic abnormality, but what an expectant mother chooses to consume can dramatically affect the chance of miscarriage and the baby’s health.
Women who consume 200mg or more of caffeine on a daily basis double their miscarriage risk, just like women who drink heavily. Research studies have revealed that although miscarriages are common, most women don’t know what actually triggers them.
Education is crucial to decreasing the risk of miscarriage, and it starts with learning the truths about alcohol and other substances. Light to moderate drinking could increase the risk of miscarriage. Heavy drinking will most definitely increase it. If you or someone you know is an expectant mother battling the want to drink regularly, seek counseling and professional help.