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?

Share your comments below.

Read more:

Shutterstock photo

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • please just don’t drink. 9 months seems like a long time but in your whole life, it really is not. think of your child


  • I don’t know why anyone would consider drinking during pregnancy. You think it would be a no-brainer.


  • They should do the same appearance study on smoking during pregnancy


  • hmmm, I wonder if this study is a bit exaggerated, of course it’s better to not drink whilst pregnant.


  • I’m a little skeptical about these results. BTW I did not drink during pregnancy.


  • I’m always intrigued by such studies that find one result for so many years and then do a complete about turn. I was not a drinker of wine before, during or after pregnancy.


  • Makes one think not to have alcohol if you want to become pregnant. Those first 3 months are so significant in a baby’s development and that’s during the wondering time – am I or aren’t I?


  • Great results – means that if you are trying to get pregnant then alcohol is out. Those first three months are so important and that’s the time when you usually aren’t aware you are pregnant many times.


  • Interesting read. Would be good to validate these results with some more research and educate people on this.


  • Yes. I abstained even when trying (in case I fell pregnant without realising). I realise it’s not so easy for everyone.


  • An interesting article,it is in the best interests of your child to give it a miss when pregnant!


  • I didn’t drink during pregnancy. Just not worth any risk.


  • New information about drinking during pregnancy. I hope more and more women will realize how dangerous it is for their babies. I really can’t stand watching pregnant women drinking.


Post a comment
Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating