pregnant mum with alcohol

The amount of alcohol expectant mothers can take has been the subject of debate for many years.

A leading health expert has put to bed that debate by warning expectant mothers to avoid any amount of alcohol during pregnancy.

In a study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Dr Phillip May, a professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico revealed that no amount of alcohol is safe for pregnant women to consume.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and partial Fetal alcohol syndrome (PFAS) are birth defects caused by maternal drinking during pregnancy.

Children with FAS and PFAS are born with abnormal facial features and lifelong learning and behavioural problems, caused by damage to the developing brain and central nervous system.

As a result, these children can also have a host of health issues relating to hearing, vision, the heart, kidneys and bones.

During the study, Dr May found that between 11 and 25 per 1,000 children born have either FAS or PFAS. These numbers are a lot more prevalent than originally thought.

“There is too much that is not known about how alcohol affects each individual woman differently during pregnancy to risk it, especially when we know the lifelong impact it can have on an individual child,” Dr May said.