A research team from Bristol University, UK, has revealed that light alcohol consumption during pregnancy may lead to premature delivery.
Prior to this time, it was believed that it is safe for women to consume little quantities of alcohol without causing the baby any harm.
Reviewing all the available studies done on the topic since the 1950s, the research team have found no convincing proof that a drink or two a week is harmful.
They, however, warned that this does not make alcohol completely safe for pregnant women, adding that women should avoid all alcohol throughout pregnancy “just in case” in accordance with official guidelines.
It was earlier established that getting drunk or drinking during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and may lead to mental or physical problems in the baby called Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Although the risks linked with light drinking are not defined, a doctor at the university, Luisa Zuccolo and her colleagues found 26 relevant studies on the topic.
In seven of those studies published in BMJ Open, light drinking was associated with at least eight per cent increased risk of having a small baby or a premature birth.
“My advice to women is that it’s best not to drink at all if you’re trying for a baby or are pregnant,” said Russell Viner, a professor at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
“Regularly drinking even small amounts could be harmful and should be avoided, in line with the precautionary approach.”