Don’t risk drink­ing , preg­nant women warned

Paisley Daily Express - - News -

Mums- to- be are be­ing warned drink­ing while p reg­nant can cause ir­re­versible brain dam­age in ba­bies.

Health ex­perts in­sist giv­ing up booze will help pre­vent learn­ing and be­hav­iour dif­fi­cul­ties in tots.

NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde says fam­i­lies must be given the facts to pre­vent ill­ness.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, di­rec­tor of pub­lic health for the health board, which cov­ers Ren­frew­shire, says Fe­tal Al­co­hol Spec­trum Dis­or­der ( FASD) can dev­as­tate lives.

She said: “Women get their in­for­ma­tion from var­i­ous places, not just their doc­tor or mid­wife.

“They read books and mag­a­zines, they scour the in­ter­net, chat to their mum and other friends who have had a baby be­fore.

“And this means they of­ten get mixed mes­sages.

“The aim of this cam­paign is to set the record straight.

“If you had the odd drink be­fore you knew you were preg­nant the risk will be small.

“But it’s also just kid­ding your­self on to be­lieve drink­ing wine with din­ner most nights doesn’t re­ally count.”

Dr de Caestecker has helped launch the No Al­co­hol, No Al­co­hol Harm cam­paign.

The con­di­tion can cause small eye­lid open­ings, short up­turned noses and re­duced sized heads, and can af­fect the heart and cause vary­ing de­grees of learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties.

At least 500 chil­dren are born in Scot­land every year suf­fer­ing from prob­lems.

Dr de Ca e s t e c k e r main­tains con­flict­ing in­for­ma­tion on whether it is safe to drink when preg­nant “weak­ens the mes­sage” and is “dis­re­spect­ful to mums and dads”.

She added: “Fe­tal al­co­hol harm is the sin­gle big­gest and 100 per cent pre­ventable cause of learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and be­havioural dif­fi­cul­ties among chil­dren, young peo­ple and adults in the UK.

“There are two ways to avoid al­co­hol harm to your baby, don’t drink while preg­nant or if you’re not ready to give up al­co­hol, make sure you don’t get preg­nant and are us­ing an ef­fec­tive form of con­tra­cep­tion.”

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