A group of Danish doctors have controversial research that suggests women who drink during pregnancy arent posing health risks on their unborn babies.
For years, moms-to-be have been advised to avoid alcohol during pregnancy to protect their fetuses from developmental problems, including fetal alcohol syndrome, which causes growth, mental and physical problems.
But Danish researchers said they found that low to moderate amounts of beer, wine or liquor -- up to eight drinks a week -- may not cause neurological and psychological damage, RTV6s Stacia Matthews reported.
Still, Tim Arndt with the Indianapolis chapter of March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping parents have healthy babies, said no safe level of drinking during pregnancy has been established.
(Pregnant women should) avoid alcohol. Eliminate it before conception, throughout pregnancy and breast feeding if they want to give their baby the best chance at a healthy start in life, Arndt said.
Substance abuse experts said they worried the results of the study will send the wrong message to women in recovery who are or may become pregnant, and that women struggling with alcoholism may think it's OK to drink, which could lead to excessive drinking.
Dr. Jeffrey Meltzer, an Ob-Gyn with IU Health North Hospital, offered sobering advice to women thinking about drinking during pregnancy.
"We really have to be cautious about an initial study. It doesn't mean it's wrong, but I think we need some more information, Meltzer said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged pregnant women not to consume alcohol at any time during pregnancy.
For more information about fetal alcohol syndrome, click here.
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