During September we focus on the impact of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
When a pregnant woman drinks, it passes from the blood through the placenta and onto the baby. Babies aren’t able to process alcohol in the same way an adult can and their livers are one of the last organs to fully form.
There is no way of knowing exactly how alcohol can affect an unborn baby.
What are the risks?
We do know that alcohol can lead to a number of different health conditions which come under the umbrella term of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Particularly if a woman drinks heavily when she is pregnant. Some of these conditions include:
- A smaller head and specific facial characteristics
- Attention problems
- Damage to the structure of the brain
- Sight and hearing problems
- Heart and kidney damage
There is also a greater risk of miscarriage and premature birth if alcohol is consumed in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
What is the ‘safe’ amount of alcohol?
For many years there was uncertainty if there was a ‘safe’ amount of alcohol that could be consumed when a woman is pregnant. However, the Chief Medical Officers’ now advise any woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant should avoid alcohol altogether for the safest outcome.
Our free Community Health Information displays offer advice on drinking alcohol during pregnant and highlight some of the risks so pregnant women can make healthy choices. Our Development Officers can also deliver health events and sessions, raising awareness of this and the other effects of alcohol.
This year, we are being supported by libraries, workplaces, pharmacies, schools and community venues throughout the West Midlands and North West, but it’s not too late to book your event or free display board. Contact us today to find out more.