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Could Drinking While Pregnant Lead to Better Behaved Kids?

Red Wine glass and Bottle on a old stone background
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ah, yes; the age-old alcohol-during-pregnancy debate wages on, this time with a new study offering up some pretty positive perks for women who do have a sip or two from time to time.

According to researchers in Denmark, moms-to-be who partake in the "occasional drink" tend to have kids who are better adjusted and better behaved than those who don't. At least, those were their findings during a recent study, which found that kids of women who drank up to one bottle of wine per month seemed to be far more emotionally stable by age 7 than kids whose moms abstained. (In total, 100,000 women were polled about their drinking habits while pregnant.)

Pretty interesting, huh? But all this isn't exactly proof that pregnant women should start knocking back a few pints with dinner. In fact, experts warn that the results are probably due to other factors like mom's lifestyle or the child's upbringing as a whole, rather than how much alcohol mom was taking in while pregnant.

As study researcher and University of Copenhagen psychologist Janni Niclasen noted to The Telegraph, "Mothers who drank 90 units or more of alcohol turned out to be the most well-educated and [have the] healthiest lifestyle overall." Ninety units is about equal to a glass of wine each week (or a bottle a month).

The bottom line here? "You don't get well-adjusted children by drinking alcohol during pregnancy," says Janet Fyle, a professional policy adviser at the Royal College of Midwives. And as Niclasen adds, "This is not an invitation to pregnant women to drink alcohol."

Sigh. In the meantime, we can all wait (with bated breath) for researchers to finally reveal the real secret to getting well-behaved kids…

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