Drinking mothers, premature babies
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
We know many reasons why women shouldn’t drink if they think they might get pregnant – the damage to babies’ bodies and intelligence, for instance. And researchers who tracked drinking habits and babies’ health add another – that the baby could be born extremely prematurely.
Robert Sokol of Wayne State University in Detroit says mothers who drank had an average of about one third higher risk of having a baby born at less than 32 weeks instead of the normal 40. But that’s just the average:
"As the dose went up – for every unit increase in alcohol exposure – the risk of extreme preterm delivery increased significantly." (7 seconds)
And these babies are at a higher risk of being born sick, and dying.
The study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011