Newborn babies in Scotland to be tested for alcohol
Newborn babies in Scotland to be tested for alcohol

Newborn babies in Scotland to be tested for alcohol

This comes as concerns grow for the number of women drinking alcohol during pregnancy

Newborn babies in Scotland are going to be tested for alcohol following concern that expectant mothers are drinking too much while pregnant.

Experts at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow have started collecting samples to test for molecules of alcohol which stay inside unborn babies.

The Herald reports how early results suggest 42 per cent of mums drink alcohol while pregnant while around 15 per cent drink more than one to two small glasses of wine a week.

Consultant neonatologist Dr Helen Mactier, who is leading the work, said: “There is an assumption that all problem drinking in pregnancy is associated with poverty and there is no evidence to confirm that. It is much easier to conceal problem drinking if you are affluent and if you are clever”

Health advice is for pregnant women to avoid alcohol entirely.

So far, nearly 600 samples had been gathered and the mothers have completed a questionnaire about their background and lifestyle.

One of the risks is causing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder which can cause short height, low body weight, poor co-ordination, learning issues, behaviour problems and issues with hearing and sight.

What do you think of drinking alcohol during pregnancy? Is it ok to have small amount or would you rather go without?


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