Mums-to-be warn of dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy
Laura Paterson, Leanne Kettlewell and Lauren Williams, who all attend The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, donned T-shirts with the ‘0-4-9’ message to mark International FASD Awareness Day on September 9th.
FASD or Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, affects 1 in 100 babies each year, is a series of preventable birth defects, both mental and physical, caused by drinking alcohol at any time during pregnancy. These defects of the brain and the body exist only because of prenatal exposure to alcohol.
The group are backing calls by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, for consistent and clear guidelines advising pregnant women that the safest option is no alcohol from conception to birth – a message which already has the backing of the North East’s 12 Directors of Public Health.
Kay Branch, The James Cook University Hospital’s midwife consultant, said: “Women do not always realise the risk to the unborn baby when consuming alcohol and that the effects can be toxic and very damaging to the growth and development of their baby.
“We therefore need to raise awareness of the 0-4-9 message among health professionals and pregnant women as early as possibly in pregnancy. The best time to stop drinking is pre-conceptually to give any pregnancy and unborn baby the best start in life.”