Earlier this week Professor John Macleod was quoted on a study of the drinking habits of pregnant women and their children's physical development thereafter Results were recorded during and after pregnancy with those who drank "three to seven glasses of alcohol a week" classed as moderate drinkers.
This is where the danger starts.
What type of measurement is "three to seven glasses per week"? If you are talking pub glasses, (which bear no resemblance to the by-gone days of actual units) the Department of Health advises against no more than one to two units per week. One glass of standard pub wine now contains two to three units. Drinking three or four of those a week takes a pregnant woman to twentyone units per week-that's the maximum a non-pregnant woman is advised to drink before suffering health problems.
A pregnant woman is fine to enjoy the odd glass of wine socially. Really? Tell that to the bewildered parents at FAS support groups raising children who have mental impairments due to them totally abstaining during pregnancy-apart the odd social drink at Christmas.
The World Health Organisation states that one in every 100 children born are hurt by alcohol their words. Not mine.
That's six- 7000 children born that are hurt by alcohol every year
That's over 500,000 children hurt by alcohol walking around our planet right now.
Italy and the US decided to launch their own studies into these statistics. Frighteningly they found their figures concluded it was more like three- five out of every 100 of their own children are hurt by alcohol.
So what does that mean for the UK? Binge drinking capital and largest collection alcohol of abusers in the world?
Well we don't know actually- since our government didn't bother conductng their own study.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the physical facial markers of the handicap. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is the range of consequences that affect our babies. The invisible signs and symptoms-such as:
• Attention deficits
• Memory deficits
• Poor problem solving skills
• Poor judgement
• Immature behaviour
• Poor impulse control
• Confused social skills
It's about time we stopped blaming our vaccinations/diets/NHS for our children's behavioural and learning difficulties. Time we faced the reality of the situation. We are hurting our babies because we are being lied to-and we are choosing to believe those lies.
We are not a nation of women who want to hurt our babies with alcohol. We just don't know any better.
We are lied to everyday. Lies of omission by a government who doesn't want to spend money on dealing with this problem.
By studies that are conducted then released with vague guidelines that help no one. By lack of concise explanations. By a refusal to admit that we are a nation that does not know how to moderate our drinking-so advising us to drink moderately under any circumstances is a total waste of time.
We are shutting our eyes to the damage we have already caused our children. Denying the consequences of our actions whilst pregnant.
Time to face the truth:
Drinking in the early stages of pregnancy is so dangerous to a developing foetus that the WHO advises total abstinence even whilst trying to conceive. In bygone days this wasn't an issue-people didn't drink enough for it to be a problem. But now? Now we are a nation of such heavy alcohol abusers that women who do not consider themselves as heavy-drinkers are harming their unborn children by following guidelines for safe drinking in this country that are seen as alcohol abuse in others.
For us to admit we are hurting our children in utero is for us to admit we are all drinking too much. All of us. All the time. Not just the alcoholics.
But no one is going to admit that for us. So today babies will be born, Babies that have been hurt by alcohol. Hurt by well-meaning parents who did no more than have "a glass or two" With no idea what that even means anymore.
We can implement ways to help the children we are labelling incorrectly and change the course of their lives right now.
Pregnant women can stop any more damage being done to their unborn children by stopping driking for the remaining duration of their pregnancy right now.
Those trying to conceive can stop any chance of mental or physical defects from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder by stopping drinking before they even start trying for a baby.
It is never too late to stop hurting our children with alcohol.
(If you would like advice on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome please contact the NOFAS helpline: 020 8458 5951 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)