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Expert advice is to avoid any alcohol

Doctor says there are too many ‘unknown’ risks to chance drinking in pregnancy

Avoid any alcohol throughout pregnancy is the latest advice

Research by an expert says pregnant women shouldn’t chance drinking any alcohol through their pregnancy

Advice: No alcohol in pregnancy

  • Doctor advises to avoid all alcohol in pregnancy

Pregnant woman holding glass of wine

Debate is always rife about drinking alcohol in pregnancy. Doctors have stated in the past that a pregnant woman can enjoy a glass of wine a week. Others have said a few sips can be OK. But a fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) expert is in the news today (Friday) warning against any alcohol consumption in pregnancy for the reason that there are too many unknown risks to justify drinking any.

Dr Phillip May at the University of New Mexico, is reported as saying: "There is too much that is not known about how alcohol affects each individual woman differently during pregnancy to risk it, especially when we know the lifelong impact it can have on an individual child.” Dr May has been researching fetal alcohol syndrome for 40 years and is an expert in the field. In previous years, FAS has been thought to affect no more than three children per every 1,000. Dr May’s research has contradicted this.

He found that between three and eight children per 1,000 were born with the condition.

The condition can have many effects on sufferers including children born with abnormal facial features and lifelong learning and behavioural problems, caused by damage to the developing brain and central nervous system.

Due to this, the children can also have a host of health issues relating to hearing, vision, the heart, kidneys and bones.

Based on these findings, Dr May argues that the risk of a baby born with FAS if you drink in pregnancy is higher than previously thought, and the full risks to the child are unknown and therefore advises no alcohol should be consumed in pregnancy.

Advice: No alcohol in pregnancy

  • Doctor advises to avoid all alcohol in pregnancy

Expert advice is to avoid any alcohol