By Daily Mail Reporter
Published: 00:57 BST, 12 October 2020 | Updated: 00:57 BST, 12 October 2020
Downing just over two drinks a week in very early pregnancy could be enough to stunt a baby’s brain development, warn scientists.
Even if the mother stops, the alcohol raises the risk children will suffer later from psychological and behavioural disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Many women may not know they are expecting in the first six to seven weeks of pregnancy but having 16 drinks in this time is enough to cause damage, said the study.
Around 40 per cent of women in the UK drink while expecting, one of the highest rates in Europe.
Just over two alcohol drinks a week could stunt a baby's development, even in the very early stages of when a woman may not know she is pregnant
Lead author, doctoral student Briana Lees, said: ‘Our research found even small amounts of alcohol while pregnant can have a significant impact on brain development.
‘Previous research has shown that very heavy alcohol use during pregnancy can cause harm to the baby.
‘However, this study shows that any alcohol during pregnancy is associated with subtle yet significant behavioural and psychological effects in children including anxiety, depression and poor attention.’
Low-level intake was regarded as one or two