Health experts argue that pregnant women should completely avoid alcohol

imagesMedical experts, including a paediatrician and doctoral research fellow have said that women should be told to avoid alcohol altogether during their pregnancy.

There are arguments that women are currently faced with confusing and contradictory messages about how much they can drink while pregnant and whether this is something that will harm their unborn baby or not.

In the UK, the Department of Health says that women should avoid alcohol altogether but that if they do want to drink then one or two units once or twice a week is still a safe amount. Other countries such as the USA, Canada, France, Denmark, Norway, Mexico, Israel, Ireland, Australia, Spain and New Zealand plain and simply state that no alcohol should be consumed at all during pregnancy.

Despite the confusing recommended guidelines in the UK, one thing that all medical experts and charities do agree with is that no alcohol should be consumed in the first three months of pregnancy due to the increased risk of miscarriage.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, two health experts have argued that alcohol is not essential to the health or wellbeing of a pregnant woman but it is known to be harmful to her baby which is why a zero tolerance attitude should be adopted.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most common side effect of heavy drinking during pregnancy and it can seriously affect the development of an unborn baby and even lead to behavioural abnormalities after birth.

Do you think that the current guidelines are confusing? Should women be told how much they can or cannot drink while pregnant or do you think they should be able to decide for themselves whats right? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. 

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