Approximately 41% of pregnant women are estimated to consume alcohol during pregnancy in the UK. Advice around drinking alcohol during pregnancy has been conflicting over the years and is usually passed along generations so there are many mixed messages about whether or not its safe.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can affect how the baby’s brain and body develops which can lead to a range of lifelong disabilities. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the term used to describe the range of lifelong disabilities and includes over 400 known conditions that can include physical, mental, behavioural and learning difficulties.
A recent prevalence study carried out in Greater Manchester found that FASD may affect up to 3.6% of children.1 Based on recent birth statistics, that’s the equivalent of 1,202 babies born in Hertfordshire and Essex each year.
Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council are proud to partner and join Greater Manchester to introduce the #DRYMESTER conversation and help reduce the likelihood of cases of FASD by ensuring those who could be pregnant or planning a pregnancy know the expert advice: If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.
Since many pregnancies are not planned, some women may drink alcohol before they realise they are having a baby. If you are in this position, the best thing you can do for your baby is to stop at the earliest opportunity and avoid alcohol for the remainder of your pregnancy.
Keep an eye out on our social channels for more information, tips and advice and help us spread the word to keep risks to babies to a minimum and remember, there’s NO SAFE TIME, NO SAFE AMOUNT.