NCT response to alcohol in pregnancy research

Released on: 15 November 2012

Research conducted by the universities of Bristol and Oxford show that relatively small levels of exposure to alcohol while in the womb can influence a child's IQ

Rosie Dodds, Senior Policy Adviser for NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, said: 

“Drinking alcohol in pregnancy can be a controversial subject and parents will be interested in the findings from this substantial research. 

“We know that alcohol can interfere with the development of unborn babies and as current research does not establish a safe level of alcohol in pregnancy, it seems safest to abstain from alcohol when pregnant. NCT supports the Department of Health and NICE recommendations that women limit their consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. 

“Women will inevitably worry about alcohol they may have drunk before realising they were pregnant. Today's new research provides one more piece of the evidence jigsaw. It shows that for some families, moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with a small difference in intelligence tests in children. This again suggests that alcohol consumption may carry risks, and perhaps for some families more than others. However, many factors influence children's development and there are lots of ways that parents can be supported to give their child a really good start in life.  

“Pregnant women need up to date, reliable information, including information on the potential risks associated with drinking alcohol in pregnancy, so that they can make an informed decision.”