According to a new research published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, children whose mothers consume alcohol during pregnancy may have an increased risk for mental health issues.
Researchers at the University of Bristol's Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group performed a systematic review to determine the association between prenatal alcohol intake and mental health of offspring.
The study findings indicate that alcohol consumption during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk for mental health problems in children, especially anxiety, depression and conduct disorder. The findings support the guidelines issued by the Department of Health which advises women to completely abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.
However, it should be noted that the associations found in the study provide no evidence of a causal effect on their own. Kayleigh Easey, the lead author, said: "Women can use this information to further inform their choices, and to avoid risk from alcohol use, both during pregnancy and as a precautionary measure when trying to conceive." Researchers further plan to investigate whether light to moderate alcohol intake in pregnancy could have detrimental effects on various mental health outcomes in children.