Mums who drink ‘have naughty children’

UK Telegraph 06 November 2007
Women who drink alcohol while pregnant may cause bad behaviour in their children, researchers suggest today. Conduct problems increased with every day that expectant mothers had a drink, a team in America found. The study comes as women are already confused about having alcohol while pregnant after conflicting advice was issued by the Department of Health and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) within months of each other. Scientists disagree about whether the behavioural problems of children whose mothers drank in pregnancy were caused by the alcohol itself or by other factors. They may be poorly educated or take drugs, or the problems may be genetically inherited.The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal, was conducted by Dr Brian D’Onofrio, of Indiana University. It found that where mothers drank during one pregnancy but not in a subsequent one, the child exposed to the alcohol in the womb displayed worse behaviour, suggesting that the problems were probably caused by the drinking rather than genetics or bad parenting. The team questioned 4,912 mothers and assessed their children each year between the ages of four and 11.

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