Study Says Alcohol Drinking During Pregnancy Can Benefit Child

February 25, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. mild /maɪld/ (adj.) – slight or not too much
Example: The doctor allowed mild exercises for the recovering patient.

2. behavior /bɪˈheɪvyər/ (n.) – the way a person acts or responds to certain situations
Example: Good parents raise children with proper behavior.

3. conception /kənˈsɛpʃən/ (n.) – the process in which the fetus develops in the womb
Example: Women should avoid unsafe medicine during conception.

4. promising /ˈprɒməsɪŋ/ (adj.) – shows great potential to succeed
Example: The promising musician can play various instruments.

5. indulge /ɪnˈdʌldʒ/ (v.) – to enjoy yourself with something
Example: He indulged himself in too much alcohol.


Read the text below.
Research from Denmark shows that pregnant women who have mild drinking habits are likely to give birth to disciplined children.

Janni Niclasen, a psychologist from the University of Copenhagen [koh-puhn-HEY-guhn], studied how alcohol consumption among pregnant women is related to children’s behavioral and emotional development.

She asked 100,000 pregnant participants about their drinking habits and lifestyle. When the women’s children reached the age of seven, Niclasen conducted another study to assess the kids’ behavior.

According to Niclasen, mothers who took small quantities of alcohol while pregnant have children who behave better than those born to women who avoided drinking. These children are more emotionally mature and showed better manners.

While alcohol may affect conception, Niclasen considered other possible factors. She observed that those who drank at least 90 units of alcohol are highly educated and follow a healthy lifestyle among the group. Ninety units is equal to a glass of wine a week or one bottle per month.

The findings may be promising, but Niclasen does not encourage pregnant women to indulge in alcohol. She acknowledged that other factors like parents’ guidance and the child’s level of intelligence were not included in the study. The research also did not focus on mothers who drank larger amounts of alcohol.

Health institutions greatly discourage pregnant women from drinking. Janet Fyle, a policy adviser from Royal College of Midwives, argued that alcohol will always be harmful for babies. She said that a mother gets well-mannered children by raising them properly and not by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think motivated Niclasen to conduct this study?
·         Are you convinced by the results of the study? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, how can parents raise well-behaved children?
·         Why do you think some children misbehave?


February 25, 2014