Trying to get pregnant alcohol

Most women know to stop drinking during pregnancy because of the risks to their developing fetus.
The authors began to think about the effects of alcohol during the time of conception, since many women of reproductive age drink socially. The researchers also wanted to compare the effects of alcohol to the effects of a high fat and sugar diet, like the typical Western diet, which when consumed by pregnant women, has also been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
This week the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) changed its advice regarding alcohol, saying that pregnant and breastfeeding women, and even women trying to conceive a child, should abstain from alcohol altogether.

In her excellent myth-busting book Bumpology, the science journalist Linda Geddes notes that in a review of 46 scientific papers looking at the effects of low to moderate drinking in pregnant women (up to 10.4 units a week), researchers at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford found no increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or birth defects. They placed some offspring, both control animals and those exposed to alcohol, on a Western diet when they were young adults.
The study on laboratory rats found an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the offspring of rats that were given alcohol around the time of conception. They found that the degree of insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) was similar in control rats (no alcohol) exposed to a Western diet and those exposed to alcohol but on a non-Western diet.

Instead of making strict rules, let’s talk more about how to help women and men navigate the early years of parenthood, and how to get help when they need it.

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