One in ten babies are born every year with a disorder linked to their mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

pregnancy

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HSE figures show one in ten babies are affected by a disorder due to their mother drinking while pregnant.

According to the Irish Independent, the HSE estimates around 6,000 babies are born each year with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

A further 600 are born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is more severe.

Over 58,000 babies were born in Ireland last year.

Medical Director and Founder of the Priority Medical Clinic in Dublin, Dr Garrett McGovern, explains how babies can be affected by their mother’s drinking during pregnancy:

“So they’ll get very distinct facial features, there’s also heart problems and they can be present from birth, the ones that happen with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum are usually later on.”

“Sleeping problems, attention problems, learning problems, IQ problems, so they’re not necessarily gonna be present at all and wont even be picked up by the hospital.” 

Alcohol Action Ireland says warnings aimed at pregnant women need to be labelled on alcohol bottles to help combat the issue.

CEO Dr Sheila Gilheaney says many women also receive contradicting advice around alcohol and pregnancy:

“It is very important that any healthcare professional is very clear and gives exactly that message, that their is no safe level of drinking during pregnancy.”