The abilities of 10,534 seven-year-old UK children, whose mothers had drunk liquor moderately or abstained while pregnant, were analysed.
They researchers encourage pregnant women to abstain from drinking alcohol, and if they want to drink, consume not more than two units per week. A unit is half a pint or a single measure of alcohol.
The results of the study show that boys born with mothers who are light drinkers had fewer behavioural problems and better reading and spatial skills than those born to mothers who did not drink while pregnant.
The co-author of the study in an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG), Professor Yvonne Kelly, said “We know heavy drinking during pregnancy has a very deleterious effect, but it is very unlikely that drinking small amounts will have an impact.”