New campaign urges women to avoid alcohol in pregnancy

Date: 21st September 2017
Category: Health and health services, Disability, Basic Health and Welfare

A new campaign run by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will warn pregnant mothers of the risk of drinking during pregnancy and urge them to avoid drinking any alcohol at all while they are pregnant.

The campaign, entitled "No alcohol, no alcohol harm" hopes to highlight the risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the launch of the public health campaign coincides with International FASD Awareness Day on the 9th September.

Around 500 babies are born in Scotland every year that have been adversely affected by FASD. FASD is often associated with facial features such as small eyelid opening, but it can also affect the heart and cause varying degrees of learning disabilities. It causes permanent, irreversible damage to a baby's brain.

The "No alcohol, no alcohol harm" campaign will include posters and information materials in antenatal clinics as well as additional training for midwives and the use of social media to help pregnant mothers make healthy choices.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC Director of Public Health, said:

"The aim of this campaign is to set the record straight. NHSGGC will do this even when the truth is less comfortable and less welcome than the popular myths to which our society has clung for too long.

"We need to be clear that FASD is a risk, not a certainty. If you had the odd drink before you know you were pregnant the risk will be small. But it's also just kidding yourself on to believe drinking wine with dinner most nights doesn't really count. The message is that the only way to guarantee your baby not being exposed to alcohol harm is to avoid alcohol completely".