If you thought a glass or two of alcohol on special occasions was safe during pregnancy, think again. Research in the Journal of Physiology
shows even small amounts of alcohol consumed during pregnancy can cause insulin-resistance, which increases the likelihood of diabetes - in male rate offspring.
Interestingly, insulin-resistance is sex-specific, occurring only in the male rats. There are two potential reasons: 1) during pregnancy the placenta adapts to a prenatal stress differently depending on if it's a male or female fetus, and this can impact on fetal growth and development 2) hormone changes as offspring grow into adulthood - estrogen protects against insulin-resistance, and because males don't have high estrogen, they don't experience the same protection. "Even a small amount of alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful, so if you're planning on getting pregnant don't drink. Families, partners and friends should support a woman's choice not to drink alcohol during pregnancy. If a woman accidentally becomes pregnant, and unknowingly drinks alcohol during the first part of their pregnancy, the important thing once they know is to stop drinking, have a good diet and take care of themselves throughout the remainder of the pregnancy," researcher Lisa Akison - University of Queensland