Drinking in pregnancy - Irish figures highest in EU

By Lunar Loops · May 23, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    This from National Documentation Centre on drug use:

    Drinking in pregnancy - Irish figures highest in EU
    (Source:'We’re worst for drinking in pregnancy': Irish Independent p. 6, 22 May 2006)

    A government-funded study of alcohol, smoking and drug use by pregnant women carried out at the Coombe Women’s Hospital found that 79 per cent of those surveyed continued to drink alcohol while pregnant, compared to 68 per cent in other EU countries.

    The study involved 125,945 women between 1988 and 2005. It found that the older the expectant mother was, the more likely she was to drink alcohol while pregnant, but younger pregnant women were more likely to drink large amounts. The report claims that increasing numbers babies are being born with disabilities because of exposure to alcohol in the womb.

    The results of the study were presented to the Minister for Health last month, but have not yet been published by her department. A spokeswoman said that the department was considering the report and planned to meet with the researchers and the HSE to consider what further action was required, including the need for an awareness campaign.

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  1. robin_himself
    This is something i just don't get. If the mother is not an alcoholic then it shouldn't be that hard just to lay off the damn booz for a while. Come on what kind of figures are these. And finally here is something the police can help in... when a child is born with disabilities because of exposure to alcohol in the womb, the mother (and perhaps the father) should be taken and fined or atleast be ordered to go to parent counseling. Because this is really heading off with a dreadfull start of being a parent.
  2. Jatelka
    SWIJ thinks this is an interesting subject. It is recommended that no alcohol at all is taken in the first trimester, and certainly regular drinking can cause problems, however there is NO evidence that women should remain teetotal throughout their entire pregnancy.

    There seems to be a kind of facism creeping in here. SWIJ's sister (K) is currently pregnant (6 months). SWIJ and K met in a wine bar for lunch. K had a single glass of wine. A complete stranger came up to us and started berating K about her irresponsibility and how she should be "locked up for child abuse".

    WTF? How dare that witch (with cigarette in hand) talk to SWIJ's sister in that way?

    While SWIJ appreciates that foetal alcohol syndrome is a very important issue an occasional glass of wine does not make it happen. Pregnant women are NOT societies property (SWIJ has also seen complete strangers feel up K's "bump" in the street: How intrusive is that?)

    Robinhimself: SWIY's point is moot. The incidence of disability IS higher in the children of men who drink heavily, but that seems to make the news much less frequently. SWIJ guesses it's easier to blame "bad mothers".
  3. Mr. Giraffe
    Awareness campaign? Pah!

    Ban alcohol, Mary. Have some fucking consistency.
  4. Lunar Loops
    Ahh well, self interests always come into play here. Far too many dipsos in the Dáil for that to happen.
  5. Lunar Loops
    Interesting point and VERY true. Also have to agree with your comments on the occasional drink. There was an article in the Sunday Times recently saying just that (only last week or week before I think). Common sense is all that needs to be applied really, unfortunately, despite the name, it's a very uncommon commodity.
  6. robin_himself
    Okay... then SWIM realized now that he's been caught up into a web of misjudgment. But how would one make a law to protect the unborn of his father that drinks (heavily). It must be a law saying that if you want to have kids... you'll have to prove that you're not a heavy drinker, and i think that that's a really hard thing to get into the system. Easyer would be to start with the woman and atleast make a little difference.

    Please correct me if i'm wrong!
  7. Lunar Loops
    Any Drinking During Pregnancy Endangers Fetus, Study Says

    Hmm, not convinced by this. This is one of those grey areas where research can come out in favour or against and this hardly appears conclusive, but here it is anyway. This is the summary taken from http://www.jointogether.org/ :

    Any Drinking During Pregnancy Endangers Fetus, Study Says
    May 26, 2006
    Research Summary

    Mothers who drink as little as half an alcoholic beverage a day can shave 7 points off of their unborn child's IQ, UPI reported May 25. Researchers said the study showed that any alcohol use puts unborn children at risk compared to those born to nondrinking mothers.
    The study authors looked at the impact of maternal drinking during the second trimester of pregnancy on the IQs of 10-year-old children. "We don't really know that there's a safe level of drinking during pregnancy," said lead study author Jennifer Willford of the University of Pittsburgh. "Women need to know this, so they can plan accordingly when they are planning to get pregnant."
    Experts said that many women don't realize that while heavy drinking can lead to the obvious cognitive defects associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, lower levels of drinking can also have serious, albeit subtle, effects on long-term development.
    The research appears in the June 2006 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
  8. Jatelka
    And everyone knows how accurate IQ testing is (insert sarcastic smilie here). 7 points? Wow!

    Don't suppose any SWIY has a subscription to the journal so SWIJ can take a look at the full paper?
  9. Lunar Loops
    Unfortunately SWIS did not have access to full report, but strongly suspects it could VERY easily be picked apart.
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