An Historical Warning Unheeded: Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy and FASD

Alcohol and pregnancy

History's Shadow

A Labour politician has urged the UK government to improve its guidance for pregnant women when it comes to alcohol consumption. Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, has called for the government to urge women to avoid any alcohol during their pregnancy and is seeking an improvement labelling on alcohol to reflect this. It is worrying that the NHS is still suggesting that a pregnant woman can safely drink two units of alcohol twice a week.

Guidance on drinking alcohol during a pregnancy remains confusing in the UK Guidance on drinking alcohol during a pregnancy remains confusing in the UK

Esterson is right. Women should not drink at all during their pregnancies. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect the foetus and lead to a number of conditions know collectively as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The most extreme case of FASD is Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which severely impairs the physical and mental development of children.

Few countries have properly addressed…

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