- Contrary to previous findings, having two alcoholic drinks per week raises the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy.
- Drinking earlier in pregnancy carries greater risks.
- To play it safe, women might want to stop drinking when they start trying to get pregnant.
Just two cocktails, beers or glasses of wine a week can increase a woman's chances of early miscarriage by 66 percent, found a surprising new study that included more than 90,000 women.
Despite some evidence that light drinking during pregnancy is OK, the new findings offer the strongest evidence yet that playing it safe might be the best strategy for women who are gestating.
Still, many questions remain, as previous studies have offered mixed results and scientists still don't have a good mechanism to explain how such small doses of alcohol might affect fetal development.
"You should never give a recommendation based on a single study," said lead author Anne-Marie Nybo Anderson, an epidemiologist at the University of Copenhagen. "But if I was to give a recommendation to my daughter, I would say that if you plan a pregnancy and if you want to be careful and do everything you can in order to not harm your future baby, then I think you should stop drinking when you start trying to become pregnant, and then after the first four months you can be a little more relaxed."