'The brutal fact is that Dominic looks like this because he was so drunk while in the womb' - Sunday Telegraph
"More babies - one in 100 - are born with foetal alcohol syndrome than all the major genetic disorders combined, yet the public know almost nothing about it. With alcohol consumption increasing among women, Olga Craig uncovers the appalling consequences for the damaged children. "
"About 28 babies with the most severe form are born each week. Yet the woeful lack of diagnostic expertise within the medical profession and the lack of publicity given to the syndrome means that thousands of women drink, and drink heavily, during pregnancy, oblivious to the risk to their unborn child.
Last Friday, backed by women such as Mrs Head, Lord Mitchell, the Labour peer, introduced the Alcohol Labelling Bill in the House of Lords, calling for it to be made compulsory for all alcohol containers to carry labels warning about the dangers of drinking while pregnant - as is already the case in France, America and Chile.
The backbench bill, which is backed by the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), gained an unopposed second reading. But it may face a rocky ride through the Commons, since many MPs believe it is yet another example of a nannying state. Without Government backing it is unlikely to become law.
As Britain's binge-drinking culture becomes ingrained in our psyche, all too few pregnant women are aware of the enormous risks to which they expose their unborn child if they continue to drink."
"Raj Mukhjejee, a leading expert in FASD, from St George's hospital medical school, in south London, says we now know that the problem is much greater than was previously thought, and it needs more publicity. "The uncertain levels of risk to the developing foetus, coupled with the possibility of misinterpreting a health-promotion message means the only safe message in pregnancy is abstinence," he says.
His view would seem to be at odds with Department of Health guidelines, which are also followed by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. They suggest that it is safe to drink one to two units, once or twice a week."
It seems clear that pregnant mothers will give their baby a healthier start in life by avoiding alcohol during pregnancy. And it would be a heavy burden of guilt to bear if, by binge-drinking in pregnancy, a mother caused her child to be born seriously disabled. - Pregnant mothers will also give their baby a healthier start in life if they avoid salt and salty food during pregnancy. - This would safeguard their own health too, lowering their risk of high blood pressure and undue weight gain. - See http://www.wildeaboutsteroids.co.uk/pregnant_mothers.html
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