Drinking during pregnancy is very dangerous for the child
It aims to slash the numbers of women who drink during pregnancy, which is estimated at 40 per cent – the fourth highest total in the world.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said it is committed to finding ways to “support vulnerable groups”, including parents of children at risk of being taken into care.
It comes as research reveals as many as 25 per cent of children taken into care have the accepted clinical risk of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or disorders associated with it (FASD), which can lead to facial deformities, such as narrowed eyes, learning difficulties, attention problems, stunted growth, blindness, poor memory and deafness.
This study, by Peterborough-based paediatrician Dr Ges Gregory, also found as many as 75 per cent of children receiving assessments prior to an adoptive placement had been exposed to alcohol in the womb, although this didn’t mean they had a diagnosis of FASD.
The unpublished work examined 140 Cambridge and Peterborough children in care undergoing a health assessment.
The study, which has been sent to the journal of the Archives of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, has alarmed experts.
Dr Gregory said: “The results are shocking and while we need further larger studies to confirm our findings I am confident what we have found locally is likely to be mirrored nationally.
“The population needs to realise drinking in pregnancy is a massive risk factor for the unborn child.
“If people start looking at this and asking the question they will find the problem. Mothers who drink in pregnancy don’t always tell you. It is such a stigma and they feel guilt.
“Alcohol is so cheap and so many people drink at home but the effects of doing this in pregnancy can be devastating for the children and the carers and adoptive parents who may end up having to look after them.”
The population needs to realise drinking in pregnancy is a massive risk factor for the unborn child
Dr Ges Gregory
Dr Raja Mukherjee, who runs a pioneering NHS clinic in Surrey for children affected by alcohol in the womb, said: “The fact so many children being adopted are damaged by alcohol in the womb shows that the no-alcohol message is not being heeded.”
He added: “The message has not got through in the same way as it has done with smoking. There are still mixed messages diluting the official advice that there is no safe level of consumption of alcohol in pregnancy.”
A Department of Health statement said: “The Government recognises foetal alcohol spectrum disorders can have a significant impact on children, their behaviours and their life chances.
“The Department is organising an expert round-table group to examine the issues surrounding FASD and this meeting will be chaired by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer.”
Maryelen and Billy McPhail with Paula and Taylor
MARYELEN McPhail, a full-time foster carer, and her husband Billy have adopted three children, two of whom have been diagnosed with foetal alcohol syndrome.
The 49-year-old, from Aire, Scotland, has been fostering for 18 years and lives with Paula, 18, who was diagnosed aged 16 and Taylor, adopted at four months old and now 10.
“As soon as Taylor came to us I noticed something was wrong,” she said.
“He was having seizures, his eyes would roll and he would rock himself. He found it difficult to sleep. I was told he would never be able to sit, walk or talk and would always be like a baby.”
When Taylor was six months the family went on a holiday to Tenerife and he began to settle.
However, there were concerns he may never talk.
Mercury Press & Media Ltd
1 of 10
Eventually, with the help of doctors and physiotherapists, Maryelen took him to walking groups, singing groups and he was taught sign language in case he couldn’t talk.
He now goes to mainstream school, plays sport and is an avid reader though he still has memory and visual problems.
She said: “He brings a smile to my face every morning.”
Meanwhile, Paula has problems with co-ordination and memory.
“I love them to bits but there needs to be more awareness of this problem because once you have a diagnosis you can put measures in place to help the children deal with problems improving their life chances.
“The child can’t change so the adults need to.”
Read more here: Daily Express :: Health Feedhappy wheels
Sep 14, 2018 0We are devastated to report that Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller has passed away from an apparent overdose on Friday (September 7), according to several sources, including TMZ. The site reports that Mac, real name Malcom James McCormick, was found in his San Fernando Valley home and was pronounced...
Sep 13, 2018 0
Sep 25, 2018 0With his time as Thor seemingly coming to a close in Avengers 4, Chris Hemsworth has lined up another potential franchise in Men in Black. After some other projects that didn’t pan out, the sci-fi series is returning with an all-new cast that includes Hemsworth and his Thor: Ragnarok co-star...
Sep 25, 2018 0
Sep 17, 2018 0Editor’s note: If you haven’t heard of Curology yet,...
Sep 11, 2018 0This is the body-positive brand we’ve been waiting...
Sep 08, 2018 0The eye cream’s popularity skyrocketed thanks to a...
Aug 31, 2018 0It’s not a one-shade-fits-all season (hooray!). These...
Sep 25, 2018 0The statement was read first in English by Federica...
Sep 25, 2018 0HONG KONG — After months of debate and political discord,...
Sep 25, 2018 0LONDON — As the annual meeting of Britain’s opposition...
Sep 24, 2018 0TIANJIN, China — When Yang Zheyu arrived at Tianjin...
Sep 24, 2018 0TEHRAN — President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said on Sunday...
Sep 24, 2018 0Mr. Trump’s first instinct was to make the session all...
Sep 24, 2018 0BEIJING — The Chinese leader, wearing a dark Mao suit,...
Sep 24, 2018 0Senator Boozman wrote to Mr. Trump in March urging him to...