A Guardian article, Binge drinkers 'risk babies with birth defects' (13/09/04) highlights the risks of FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) incurred by young female binge drinkers, who may not realise that they are pregnant.
The BBC News site of 06/09/04 featured a Tommy's/NOP survey which shows that a large proportion of pregnant women are ignoring advice from health professionals, as 1 in 5 women smoked and 2 out of 5 drank alcohol during their pregnancy: Pregnancy not curbing bad habits. The survey also revealed extensive ignorance about diet and other lifestyle issues. Tommy's is publishing a book, 'Tommy’s guide to pre-pregnancy care’ , which is available free during September at larger Boots' branches.
Another BBC News feature on 13/09/04, Any alcohol a risk during pregnancy, highlights a presentation by Raja Mukherjee at the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Aware UK conference. According to Dr Mukherjee, many children who develop behavioural problems as a result of exposure to alcohol in the womb are incorrectly diagnosed as having conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The real culprit, alcohol consumption, goes unnoticed in these milder forms, collectively called Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. He is of the view that there is no safe limit for alcohol consumption during pregnancy.