Drinking While Pregnant Might Change Your Baby's Face

In a very specific way

Image via Pixabay

There’s a reason all your favorite alcoholic beverages feature birth defect warnings. Today, it’s practically common knowledge that pounding tequila shots while pregnant can lead to serious consequences—from fetal alcohol syndrome to lower IQs and growth problems. Surely a glass of wine now and then can’t be that bad, right?

According to new research conducted by geneticists at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Victoria, Australia, pregnant women who drink a few servings of alcohol a week won’t cause serious damage, but they might notice slight adaptations in their baby’s facial features. Of the 1,570 pregnant women the researchers tracked for a study published last year in BMC Public Health, 27 percent admitted to drinking small amounts of alcohol during their pregnancies. Recently, the children reached one year of age, allowing researchers to photograph their faces using several cameras to measure a variety of angles and differences.

After controlling for variables, such as gender and weight, they found drinking up to seven drinks a week caused babies to have shorter, upturned noses; however, the changes weren’t visible to the naked eye and required advanced imaging techniques to detect for comparison. Therefore, mild drinking while pregnant—or before a woman realizes she’s pregnant—shouldn’t cause expecting mothers to lose sleep at night.

Geneticist Jane Halliday, who was the lead author of the study, echoes this point, telling New Scientist, “The results are telling us that there is some effect, albeit fairly subtle,” adding, “At this stage, we have not identified any problems for people to worry about.” And while doctors still don’t know exactly why alcohol affects fetuses, it’s worth being on the safe side and abstaining from alcohol as much as possible while pregnant—even if that means sipping on O’Doul’s for nine months.

via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less