Drinking While Pregnant and Later Child Growth: Facts Important During Pregnancy

Drinking while Pregnant Study

Drinking while pregnant and its effects on the size of infants at birth has been studied in earlier research. This study examined the association between drinking while pregnant and children’s height and weight from birth to age 10.

drinking while pregnantData came from 7,597 mother-child pairs. Occasional or light daily drinking while pregnant was not linked to reduced birth weight. Nor to birth length or growth up to the age of 10.

The infants of mothers who were heavily drinking while pregnant were born slightly shorter and lighter. That’s compared to infants of women who had abstained. But by age 10 the children of the heavily drinking mothers were similar in height and weight.

The subject of drinking while pregnant is one about which reasonable people disagree. Often very strongly. As in religion and politics, they can believe that their way is the only way. But this is a very personal decision. It need not be justified to others.

Source: Keeffe, L., et al. Maternal alcohol use during pregnancy and offspring trajectories of height and weight. A prospective cohort study. Drug Alco Depend,. 2015, 153, 323-9.

Readings on drinking while pregnant


Champion, P. and McCormick. Eating and Drinking in Labour. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002.

Dolan, S. and Kelly, A. Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby. The Ultimate Pregnancy Guide. NY: HarperOne, 2013.

Duigan, J., et al. Clean & Lean Pregnancy Guide. London: Kyle, 2014.

Geddes, L. Bumpology: The Myth-busting Pregnancy Book for Curious Parents-to-be. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2014.

Glicksman, M. and DiGeronimo, T. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth. NY: Alpha, 2010.

Ricciotti, H. and Connelly, V. The Pregnancy Cookbook. NY: Norton,1996.


Bakker, R., et al. (2010). Associations of light and moderate maternal alcohol consumption with fetal growth characteristics in different periods of pregnancy. The Generation R Study. Int. J. Epi., 39(3), 777-789.

Henderson, J.,et al. (2007). Systematic review of effects of low-moderate prenatal alcohol exposure on pregnancy outcome. BJOG: Int. J. Ob. and Gyn., 114(3), 243-252.

Lundsberg, L., et al. (2014). Low-to-Moderate Prenatal Alcohol Consumption and the Risk of Selected Birth Outcomes. Ann. Epi., 25, 46-54.

Polygenis, D.,et al. (1998). Moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy and the incidence of fetal malformations. Neur. and Ter., 20(1), 61-67.

Shiono, P. H., et al. (1996). Smoking and drinking during pregnancy. JAMA., 255(1), 82-84.