A new study claims consuming wine during pregnancy could alter your child’s facial features.
We already know that alcohol can infect a foetus, causing developmental delays in the brain. In more severe cases, those delays can trigger facial defects.
However, a new Australian study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found that small quantities of alcohol could alter a child’s face without necessarily causing cognitive issues, reports Daily Mail.
Researchers analysed photographs of 415 babies’ faces to detect a series of subtle differences connected to alcohol consumption – such as a slighter shorter, upturned nose.
However, they said they do not have any evidence to show these delays in facial development are harmful in any other way than aesthetic.
There is no definitive guideline on how much alcohol is safe to consume during pregnancy. Even studies that say it is dangerous refrain from specifying the amount.
This new study by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Victoria, Australia found any alcohol consumption has consequences on craniofacial development.
It is one of the first research papers to explore how alcohol could affect facial features of children who do not have fetal alcohol syndrome.
Researchers recruited mothers in the first trimester of pregnancy from low-risk, public maternity clinics in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, between January 2011 and December 2014.
They ended up with 415 white children (195 girls and 220 boys) who had been exposed to a full range of alcohol – from binge drinking throughout pregnancy to low level drinking in the first trimester.
Each one was photographed from many different angles when they reached one year old.
Analysing the three-dimensional craniofacial images, the researchers found significant differences in craniofacial shape between children of women who abstained from alcohol during pregnancy and children with varying levels of prenatal alcohol exposure.
Stark differences were seen around the midface, nose, lips, and eyes.
Alcohol-exposed children tended to have a more sunken midface and a turned-up nose.
Those who experienced low exposure in the first trimester tended to only show differences in their forehead size.
Babies with moderate to high exposure in the first trimester tended to display developmental differences in their eyes, midface, chin, and head.
Binge-level exposure in the first trimester tended to affect the chin.
The authors concluded: ‘Although the clinical significance of these findings is yet to be determined, they support the conclusion that for women who are or may become pregnant, avoiding alcohol is the safest option.’
WOW that is quite interesting information. Really makes you stop and think. Don’t you agree?
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