Boozing is harmful for pregnant women

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{image-alcohol abuse women01_25052008.jpg}London, May 25: Pregnant women drinking alcohol can pose health problems to their children, research revealed. Women are adviced not to drink alcohol in the first three months of pregnancy. Despite warnings the latest Health Service figures showed that 55 per cent women have drunk while expecting. The study also revealed that older pregnant mothers are more likely to drink than the younger ones.

Questioning 35,600 mothers, 61 per cent aged 35 or over said they drank while pregnant compared to 47 per cent of those aged under 20, the Daily Mail reported. Growing evidence has shown that children born to mothers who drink can have serious health conditions, said NICE health experts. Damage to the child increases with the amount of alcohol drunk and the timing during the pregnancy. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is the leading known cause of non-genetic learning difficulties, certain abnormal facial characteristics and slow growth. There is also an increase in the diagnoses of autism and attention deficit disorders in children whose mothers have drunk while expecting. Susan Fleischer, director of the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome said, ''Older women with careers had been calling their helpline after their children were diagnosed with the disorder.'' ''Not all women who drink during pregnancy will harm their child, but the only way to be sure is not to drink at all,'' she added.


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