Is it safe to drink alcohol during pregnancy? UW professors Susan Astley (Epidemiology and Pediatrics, FAS Diagnostic & Prevention Network) and Therese Grant (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Fetal Alcohol & Drug Unit) address that question in a special editorial published in the Seattle Times on July 5. The UW experts challenge a recent Danish study which reported finding that drinking up to 8 alcoholic drinks per week during pregnancy has no effect on children’s intelligence or activity levels. In their editorial, the UW authors point to numerous limitations of the Danish study which put the findings into question.
Astley and Grant cite the long-established body of research and clinical work on FAS conducted at the University of Washington and elsewhere to clarify their main point: Research shows there is no safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy, and for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and who drink alcohol, the best advice is to stop.