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Alcohol in pregnancy weakens bond

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy find it more difficult to bond with their child than non-drinkers, research has shown.

The study, carried out by PhD student Eilidh Duncan at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University, also found that new mothers who drank took longer to recover after the birth.

The research looked at 130 first-time mothers who had varying levels of alcohol intake. They were asked a series of questions after giving birth to determine their level of attachment to their child.

It looked at issues including delivery method, length of hospital stay, pregnancy and labour complications, maternal attachment and postnatal drinking habits.

Researchers found that expectant mothers who drank had lower levels of mother-child bonding, and even women 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."

Copyright Press Association 2009

Robert Gordon University