There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy, according to new Israeli research from Ariel University that was published a few days ago in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Drinking alcohol will cause damage to the fetus that the pregnant woman is carrying, according to the study.
The study also concluded that about 1,700 babies are born with developmental disabilities due to the amount of alcohol that their mother drank while pregnant.
Other areas of research in the study include the range of harm alcohol can inflict on the fetus, children growing up with neurodevelopmental disorders, difficulties in regulation, managerial functions, participation in quality of life.
The study was led by Dr. Liat Chen-Herbst, researcher and lecturer in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Ariel University.
In 2020, a survey questionnaire compiled for the purposes of the study was sent to 802 pregnant women in Israel. The aims of the study were to examine the drinking habits of women before and during pregnancy, and to test their knowledge about the possible dangers to the fetus due to alcohol consumption and the effect this knowledge has on their drinking habits. About 70% of women reported drinking alcohol in the two months prior to pregnancy and 12% reported drinking alcohol during and after pregnancy.
More alcohol consumption was found among secular and highly-educated women. About 40% of women reported not receiving information about the dangers from a qualified medical professional.
The study also came to the conclusion that since there is no known safe amount to drink, the recommendation is to avoid drinking alcohol whatsoever throughout the pregnancy.
Finally, the study found that the knowledge about the possible harm to the fetus following its exposure to alcohol in the womb is scarce and insufficient among pregnant women in Israel.
The full article will be published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence by Elsevier. A summary of the article can be found here.