Pregnant moms who drink give children 'a taste'


11 Mar 2009, 0017 hrs IST, PTI

LONDON: Here’s another reason why women should not drink while pregnant — it could give your child a taste for alcohol, says a new study.


Researchers from State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, believe that the findings suggest that exposure to alcohol before birth can make it both smell and taste more appealing.

They have found that early exposure while still in the womb can reduce youngster’s sensitivity to the underlying bitterness of alcoholic drinks, making them more appealing.

According to them, exposure to alcohol before birth can make it both smell and taste more appealing.

“Our findings have broad implications for relationship between maternal patterns of drug use, child development and postnatal vulnerability,” leading British newspaper the Daily Telegraph quoted them as saying.

The researchers came to the conclusion after carrying out an experiment on laboratory rodents — they found the rats whose mothers had been given alcohol while pregnant were more likely to find the taste of alcohol appealing later in life.

They were also more likely to drink water containing quinine, an ingredient of tonic water known for its bitter taste. Moreover, the animals sniffed more when they were close to alcohol, suggesting that they were attracted to its smell.