Re: I recently saw an article about a study that said binge drinking during pregnancy isn't harmful to the fetus. Is this really true?
Well... kind of. The study -- actually, a review of many other studies -- that you're talking about (more info here) was released last November, and received lots of attention (like this and this news article, and blog posts here, here and here) for its assertion that light or occasional binge drinking during pregnancy isn't necessarily associated with birth defects and other adverse effects.
While the story makes a great headline ("Occasional Binge Drinking While Pregnant? No Problem!"), there's far less shock value in the study's actual text. The report doesn't actually say it's okay to binge while pregnant, or that drinking definitely won't harm a fetus -- but it does explain that there's not enough evidence to say it will.
"In my view we need further studies into the effect of binge drinking and light drinking in pregnancy to strengthen the evidence base on the effects of these particular patterns of consumption," says Dr. Ron Gray of the University of Oxford, author of the study. "This was the key message of our recent study -- and in the meantime it's better to be cautious, I think." He also adds, "Pregnant women should certainly avoid daily drinking or binge drinking, which carry the highest risks."