Mums to be are being reminded that alcohol and pregnancy do not mix.
This is the message NHS Lanarkshire is keen to promote in the build up to Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) awareness day this Thursday, September 9.
It comes after a recent survey revealed that around 29 per cent of adults were drinking more than before COVID-19 restrictions were introduced.
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Jill Madden, NHS Lanarkshire’s programme manager, said: “Among people that drink, younger adults were more likely to report an increase in the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumed. As such, we want to increase awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol in pregnancy.
“There is no proven safe level for alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The only risk-free approach is to avoid alcohol completely.”
FASD is the term given to a group of life-long conditions that are entirely preventable if a woman abstains from alcohol throughout her pregnancy.
These include behavioural and learning difficulties, problems with vital organs, hearing and sight issues and specific facial characteristics.
Lorna Shearer, health improvement senior, added: “Women do not drink to intentionally harm their baby.
“There are a number of reasons why women might drink alcohol while they are pregnant or they might not even know they are pregnant.
“FASD is completely preventable and, if you want to be sure that your baby will not be born with alcohol related brain damage, the message is clear – avoid alcohol for the duration of your pregnancy and when planning to conceive.
“It is vital that we reach prospective mothers and their partners with factual information and support where necessary.
“Any woman who is concerned about alcohol in pregnancy should speak to their midwife.”
The FASD hub Scotland can provide direct support services for people affected by, or living with, FASD. Telephone the helpline on 0300 666 0006 (select option two for FASD hub Scotland), open Tuesday to Friday, 10am-2.30pm.
For more information, visit: www.alcohol-focus-scotland.org.uk/contact-us/