Learning and physical disabilities and behavioural problems are part of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). These lifelong conditions can have a major impact on the lives of the individual and those around them. The BMA report, Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, says that these conditions are completely preventable by not drinking any alcohol during pregnancy.
Recent DoH guidance recommended that women should not drink whilst pregnant, but stated that those who wish to drink should limit their intake to one or two units, once or twice a week. However, this advice could me misinterpreted, say the BMA, and many experts have disputed this recommendation.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of BMA science and ethics, said: 'The UK has one of the highest levels of binge-drinking in Europe and the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in Western Europe.
'We need to raise awareness of the emerging evidence on FASD among healthcare professionals. They need training and guidance on these disorders so that children are diagnosed quickly and get the help they need.'
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