Newborn Babies are now being tested for alcohol
Newborn babies in Scotland are now being tested for alcohol in their system as fears grow over expectant mothers drinking whilst pregnant.
Medics at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow have started testing samples from babies to test for molecules of alcohol that stay in the system when mothers-to-be drink regularly.
Early results from the tests so far indicate that up to 42% of expectant mothers drink alcohol whilst pregnant, with 15% having more then 1 to 2 glasses of wine a week – despite medical advice being to avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy.
The tests being carried out form part of a research project involving around 600 unborn babies so far, to try to establish the effects of drinking whilst pregnant, and the extent of the problem in Glasgow. The researchers say that the occasional drink won’t show up in the test so they’re looking into expectant mums who drink excessively whilst pregnant.
One of the risks of drinking whilst pregnant is 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
Over the years medical advice has changed from it being OK to have the odd drink to avoiding alcohol altogether. I’d love to hear what you think about drinking when pregnant – is it something you’ve done and have you noticed any effects, or is it something you’d always avoid? Let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook page.
If you want to know the facts surrounding drinking when pregnant, and the possible side effects for mother and baby you can read all about it over at Drink Aware.
If you think you could be pregnant get yourself a test before you pick up that drink!