New study finds link between father's alcohol consumption and higher rate of birth defects 3 years ago

New study finds link between father's alcohol consumption and higher rate of birth defects

We all know by now that for women, consuming alcohol when you are pregnant or trying for a baby is a big no-no.

For the sake of your unborn (of future) baby's health, just pass on the alcohol in favour of a nice mocktail.

However, now it looks as if the same advice should really be applied to men too, with a new study showing that there is actually an association between dad's drinking before conception and congenital heart defects in infants.

The research, whicn was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that, in fact, both partners in a couples who are trying to conceive should stop consuming alcohol long before the conception date.

"Would-be-moms should abstain for a year before they start to try and potential fathers should stop drinking alcohol six months before trying for a pregnancy," says Dr. Jiabi Qin, one of the authors of the new study.

But look – we are not talking about a couple of beers here and there, Qin is keen to point out. Rather if your partner is a heavy binge drinker, and would consume five or more drinks per sitting), then it is important to know that this is linked to a 52 percent higher chance of congenital heart defects.



More research is needed, and the conclusion is not that binge-drinking causes heart defects – but that there is a strong association between them.

"Binge drinking by would-be parents is a high risk and dangerous behavior that not only may increase the chance of their baby being born with a heart defect, but also greatly damages their own health," says Dr. Qin.

Looks like it's all about choosing to have a healthy lifestyle when you get to the point of wanting to try for a baby – for both mums and dads.