是否該允許孕婦飲酒，即使是量極少的酒？雖然長久以來，我們都了解在懷孕期間大量的飲酒，將引起胎兒酒精症候（fetal alcohol syndrome），如：智能障礙、成長遲緩與臉部表情異常等症狀；然而，關於偶而飲酒是否會對胎兒造成任何長期的影響，仍是未知數。一份在八月二日兒科期刊上的研究顯示，在懷孕期間，即使是少量地偶而飲酒，如一週一次，仍會導致小孩行為上的問題，而最遲會在六至七歲浮現。該研究也提出了美國產科暨婦科學院（the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology）的建議，為安全起見，懷孕期間最好不要飲用任何含酒精成分的飲料。研究的作者，一位著名的產科及婦科教授，Robert J. Sokol, MD告訴WebMD：「即使是少量的酒精，對孩童晚期的行為發展也會有不好的影響。」
Alcohol During Pregnancy Linked to Childhood Behavior Problems
Even Occasional Drinking Affects Kids Years Later
By Laurie Barclay, MD
WebMD Medical News
Reviewed by Aman Shah, MD
Aug. 9, 2001 -- Is a pregnant woman allowed one teeny-weeny little drink? Although heavy alcohol use has long been known to cause the mental retardation, stunted growth, and abnormal facial features known as fetal alcohol syndrome, it is unknown whether the occasional drink would lead to any long-term effects in the fetus. But a study in the Aug. 2 issue of Pediatrics shows that even occasional drinking while you're pregnant -- as little as a drink a week -- can lead to behavioral problems in kids as late as age 6-7.
The study shows that the recommendation of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology to not drink any alcohol during pregnancy is sound, senior author Robert J. Sokol, MD, a distinguished professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Wayne State University in Detroit, tells WebMD. "Using even small amounts of alcohol has bad effects on later childhood behavior," he says.
The researchers studied more than 500 socially disadvantaged women attending a university-based maternity clinic starting in 1986. They prospectively assessed maternal alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use at each prenatal visit. Alcohol use was assessed as absolute alcohol intake and categorized into none, low (<0.3 fl oz/day) and moderate/heavy (>0.3 fl oz./day).
At age 6-7, the risk of delinquent behavior was more than three times greater in children whose mothers drank any alcohol during pregnancy than in those whose mothers abstained completely. Even one drink weekly increased the risk of childhood behavioral problems such as aggression. Children who had been exposed in utero to any amount of alcohol were also more likely to be anxious, depressed, or withdrawn.
"This is an important new study that confirms again the wisdom of the Surgeon General's warning about not drinking during pregnancy or when planning a pregnancy," says Ann P. Streissguth, PhD, director of the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, who reviewed the study for WebMD.
"Since we know of no safe level of alcohol exposure during pregnancy, abstinence is the most prudent way to go," Mary J. O'Connor, PhD, tells WebMD after reviewing the study.
Alcohol may also interact with lead exposure and other drugs used by either parent, explains O'Connor, director of the Fetal Alcohol and Related Disorders Clinic and an adjunct professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA.
Though use of tobacco, cocaine, and other drugs during pregnancy may all affect the developing brain, Sokol says the evidence is more convincing for alcohol than for any other drug.
"In cases where a pregnant woman has inadvertently consumed alcoholic beverages, we recommend discontinuing alcohol intake as soon as the pregnancy is suspected or confirmed," lead author Beena Sood, MD, a pediatrician at Wayne State, tells WebMD.
"Our findings have consistently shown changes in both brain and behavior following heavy prenatal alcohol exposure," says Sarah N. Mattson, PhD, an associate director of the Center for Behavioral Teratology and an assistant professor of psychology at San Diego State University.
Although she was not involved in the current research, her group has identified behavioral problems, lower IQ, clumsiness, and learning difficulties related to heavy prenatal alcohol exposure in children up to age 15, even if they lack the flat nose and other facial features typically seen in fetal alcohol syndrome.
Sood recommends that future studies follow children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol through adolescence and adulthood to determine longer-term effects, examining whether the timing and pattern of alcohol exposure during pregnancy influence outcome, and studying biological characteristics that may make certain children more vulnerable.