How much alcohol is OK during pregnancy?
Current guidelines say you shouldn’t touch a drop in those early days, while later on in pregnancy two units a week is OK and you should not get drunk.
However, it was far from OK for one mum – Sam – who had a couple of pints of Guinness and a brandy a few times after her scans and had a baby born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
FASD is an umbrella term for a range of different conditions that can be attributed to mums drinking while they are pregnant. To name just a tiny few, these can include sleep problems, autistic like behaviour, eye defects, heart problems and mental conditions that can lead to depression, violence and anger.
According to a new ITV documentary, Exposure: When Pregnant Women Drink, one in 100 babies are born in Britain each year brain-damaged with FASD.
Although Sam admitted she had an alcohol addiction and thought Guinness was ‘good for her baby’, it seems many mums are unknowingly putting their babies at risk because they've been led to believe it’s okay to drink one or two units a week.
The current guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) say you shouldn’t touch a drop, especially in those early days, while later on in pregnancy two unit a week is ok and they should not get drunk.
Doctors are now pushing for a total ban on drinking in pregnancy.
And ITV’s documentary lead to some worrying findings.
Prof Peter Hepper of Queen's University, Belfast, is said to have carried out the only UK research on the impact of low levels of alcohol on an unborn baby.
He found that pregnant women only drinking one unit of alcohol - well within the government guidelines - the foetus stopped moving and breathing for up to two hours and that was once the alcohol had already left the mother's body.
But we’re all still confused as to what is acceptable with many British expectant mothers admitting on Exposure that they don't know what to think.
If you didn’t watch last night’s documentary you can catch it on ITV Player now. It makes for very interesting and sad watching.
You can also read more on drinking in pregnancy here.