Researchers found that teenagers found the smell of alcohol more appealing if their mothers had drunk while they were in the womb.
This attraction could increase their chances of suffering a drink problem in later life, researchers believe.
The study, carried out in pregnant rats, showed that by the time offspring hit adolescence they responded more strongly to the smell of alcohol on others if they had been exposed to it before they were born.
Steven Youngentob, from the State University of New York, who led the study, said: “These results highlight an important relationship between fetal and adolescent experiences that appears essential to the progressive development of alcohol abuse.”
Pregnant women are advised to not consume any alcohol.
Drinking any kind of alcohol when you are pregnant can hurt your baby. Alcoholic drinks are beer, wine, wine coolers, liquor, or mixed drinks. A glass of wine, a can of beer, and a mixed drink all have about the same amount of alcohol.