AQUA Study

 

 A Qua 

 

 

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Why are we doing the AQUA study?child in bath

Women are told not to drink during pregnancy to protect their babies, but can the occasional glass of wine cause any harm? And what if a woman has already had a drink before knowing she is pregnant? We are seeking to answer these questions through the AQUA study.

As we don't know how much alcohol pregnant women can drink without harming the developing baby, not drinking any alcohol is the safest option. Our lack of knowledge in this area has the potential to cause anxiety for women who have had even small amounts of alcohol before realising they are pregnant. It can also create problems for doctors and midwives about how to best advise women.

Through their involvement in this research project, participants will help researchers find out whether low or moderate alcohol drinking during pregnancy adversely affects early childhood health and development. In the future this information may be useful for women planning to be pregnant, pregnant women, and the health professionals who provide maternity care.

What does the AQUA study involve?

We have collected detailed information about alcohol drinking in pregnancy from nearly 1600 pregnant women to assess the effect of different amounts of alcohol on the unborn child, using three questionnaires, one in each trimester of pregnancy. We have also collected information on things that might influence the effects of alcohol such as diet, medication and body size. Women participating in the AQUA study will also complete a questionnaire about the health and development of their baby, when their baby is 12 months old. Some participants will be invited to have a 3D photo of their baby's face and head taken at 12 months of age, and a developmental assessment done at 2 years of age.

 

Aims of AQUA         

The general aim of this research is to collect detailed information about alcohol consumption in pregnancy from a large group of pregnant women and to assess the effect of different doses of alcohol and other associated influences on the unborn child.

The specific aims of this project are to find out whether:

  • low to moderate quantities of alcohol at various stages of pregnancy are associated with problems in the health and development of young children at birth and at 12-24 months of age and
  • maternal DNA variations, specific dietary factors or other environmental influences can affect the impact of low to moderate quantities of alcohol in pregnancy

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