22nd Oct, 2016

Pregnancy and alcohol awareness gets backing

Aaron Wise 19th Sep, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

EVESHAM’S MP Nigel Huddleston has backed a pregnancy and alcohol awareness programme following a visit to the Meadow Birth Centre at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The Mid Worcestershire MP attended the launch of the Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Trust’s awareness programme on changes to guidance on pregnancy and alcohol, last Friday (September 9).

In January 2016 the chief medical officers updated their guidance on pregnancy and alcohol to recommend no alcohol is consumed in pregnancy.

However a new survey of pregnant women has found that more than 40 per cent of women carry on drinking during pregnancy.

The survey highlighted the critical role midwives have in educating women and of the women who were aware of the new guidelines, most were informed by a midwife or health visitor, while the media and online were also identified as other significant sources of information.

Due to this, the FASD Trust are launching a new campaign, targeting midwives throughout the UK with the simple message of ‘My baby’s too young to drink’.

Midwives will receive a warning poster highlighting the dangers of drinking during pregnancy, as well as further information about FASD, resources to help boost awareness and a helpline number for support.

At the Worcestershire Royal, Mr Huddleston met Rachel Duckett, interim divisional medical director, Cathy Garlick, divisional director of operations and Fay Baillie, divisional director of nursing and midwifery.

Mr Huddleston said: “It was a huge pleasure to meet everyone last Friday. I was deeply impressed by all I saw and heard at the Meadow Birth Centre and pleased to have the chance to support this important awareness campaign.

“FASD leaves a baby with a range of physical, behavioural and cognitive difficulties for the rest of their life. I know no mother would want their child to have to go through this which is why it’s so important we raise the awareness of why women should not drink alcohol during pregnancy.

“I know this is something midwives locally are strongly supportive of and with their support I hope this campaign will be a success,” he added.