Younger Mothers Likely To Engage In Risky Drinking Behaviour, Study

Tara Khandelwal
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A new study has found that younger mothers are more likely to engage in risky drinking behaviour during and after pregnancy. The researchers studied 456 pregnant women, from the ages of 13 to 42 years. 64 percent of them were African-American, and 36 percent of them were white. The study titled " Maternal Age and Trajectories of Risky Alcohol Use: A Prospective Study" was published in Journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


Researchers interviewed them about alcohol use during pregnancy, at delivery and at 6, 10, 14, and 16 years after delivery.

Maternal age at delivery of the first child predicted one high-risk group. Younger mothers were more likely to engage in risky drinking behaviour. And this pattern continued for 6 to 14 years after delivery.

The authors of the study said that the results could help doctors target mothers who are likely to exceed national guidelines calling for abstinence during pregnancy, and no more than seven drinks per week during postpartum.

Drinking during pregnancy is a big no. But according to a U.S. based study, one in ten pregnant women drinks alcohol. Alcohol use during pregnancy could lead the child to develop fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. This leads to having lifelong physical, behavioural and intellectual disabilities. Drinking alcohol could also cause miscarriage and still birth.

Even having an occasional drink can effect how a baby develops. Researchers have found that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can make subtle changes to the way a baby’s face is formed.

Even drinking at low levels can cause changes to features. Being less than 2mm they are not visible to the naked eye.


Researchers say that avoiding alcohol completely during pregnancy is the best way to go.

Globally, nearly eight out of every 1,000 children in the general population is estimated to have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Also Read: Excessive Alcohol Consumption Increases Risk of Sarcopenia in Older Women: Study

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