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Monday, October 14, 2019

Men should quit drinking months before trying for a baby, study says

drinking, beer, liquior

It’s not just women who need to cut back.

Drinking during pregnancy has long been linked to problems for newborn babies.

But now a study is suggesting even the habits of dad’s-to-be could effect the health of a baby.

Research claims to have found a link between a baby’s congenital heart defects and their parents’ drinking before conception.

The study found that, compared to non-drinkers, fathers who drank during the three months before conception were 44% more likely to have babies born with congenital heart disease.

If the prospective dads were binge drinkers, which was defined as downing five or more drinks per session, there was a 52% higher likelihood their baby would have a congenital heart defect.

Meanwhile mothers who drank or binge-drank before conception, there was a 16% higher risk for their babies, compared to not drinking.

drinking, beer, liquior

The study, published Thursday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, was a meta analysis and review of existing studies on the topic, and can only show an association between drinking and birth defects, not a causation.

“Binge drinking by would-be parents is a high risk and dangerous behaviour that not only may increase the chance of their baby being born with a heart defect, but also greatly damages their own health,” study author Jiabi Qin, of Xiangya School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, China, said in a statement.

Obviously it’s impossible to predict when a couple might conceive a child.

To be safe, Qin said, the results suggest that men should not consume alcohol for at least six months before fertilization, while women should stop drinking alcohol one year before, and avoid it while pregnant.


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