Mothers-to-be, take note! Alcohol during pregnancy may put babies at risk of anxiety

New Delhi: Numerous studies have shown that drinking alcohol during pregnancy negatively impacts the baby in ways that can also be massively damaging.

Another study has added to the ill-effects saying that even a small to moderate amount of alcohol intake during pregnancy may produce significant amount of anxiety in newborns, especially males, lasting through adolescence and into adulthood.

Researchers at Binghamton and State Universities of New York said that drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy is harmful to unborn babies.

Lead researcher Marvin Diaz explained alcohol exposure produces significant amount of anxiety in kids that can last into adulthood.

For the research, the team exposed pregnant rats to ethyl alcohol vapor for six hours on their twelfth day of gestation- the only time they were exposed to alcohol.

After the birth of offspring, they were then subjected to a series of anxiety tests. The findings indicated that anxiety was most apparent in male rats during their adolescence.

After entering adulthood, the effects were opposite, with ethanol-exposed male rats showing reduced anxiety, while the females still appeared unaffected.

Diaz explained that after a lot of media coverage the study has showed that alcohol exposure is not safe.

The lead researcher is interested in taking these findings further, to determine what changed in the brain after alcohol exposure, and to see why the effects are apparent in male rats but not females.

A recent survey of 11 European countries also revealed that despite warnings to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy, nearly one in three pregnant women in Britain drinks alcohol.