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Drinking while pregnant weakens maternal bond

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Drinking while pregnant not only leads to longer stays in hospital after delivery, it can also weaken the maternal bond between mother and child, a study suggests.

PhD student Eilidh Duncan, from Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University, studied 130 first-time mothers with varying levels of alcohol intake.

As well as recording details such as type of delivery, post-natal drinking habits, length of hospital stay, and labour complications, she also quizzed mothers to determine the level of attachment they felt to their child.

The data showed that women who drank alcohol during pregnancy had significantly lower levels of bonding than non-drinkers.

And even mothers who drank no more than once a month had to spend an extra day recovering in hospital.

Dr Katrina Forbes-McKay, lecturer at the university’s School of Applied Social Studies, said: ‘This research confirms that drinking even small amounts during pregnancy has negative outcomes for women.

‘Alcohol use during pregnancy not only lengthens the mother’s stay in hospital, but can be directly associated with lower levels of mother-child bonding.’

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