Date PostedJune 14, 2013

Attempt to Tackle Damage Done by Pregnant Drinkers

Do you think Pregnant Mothers are doing harm to their unborn babies by drinking alcohol? According to a report discussed by a post on www.couriermail.com.au it does.

Six months after a report described the danger caused to unborn babies by pregnant drinking mothers, more than 1300 children have apparently been born with brain damage. A parliamentary committee has urged government to pass legislation making it compulsory to print warning labels on alcohol bottles, similar to what we see on cigarette packaging.

In the article on www.Courier.com.au the problem has been labelled as Australia’s “invisible birth defect”.  According to the post, pregnant women who drink, especially excessively, kill the baby’s growing cells before the baby is even given a chance to develop properly, which results in foetal alcohol spectrum disorder also known as FASD.

The article describes how since the parliamentary committee into the disorder urged the government for warnings on alcohol labels among other recommendations, more than 30,000 women are expected to have consumed alcohol while pregnant. The committee also called for support for parents whose children have been born with disabilities due to FASD as well as the education of doctors to better deal with and combat the disorder.

Doctors suggest that pregnant women abstain from alcohol altogether because it has not yet been discovered what amount it takes to do damage to the growing foetus. In addition to low birth weight some of the other consequences of FASD includes, increasing the risk of miscarriages, learning disabilities in children as they develop, poor attention spans, judgement and social skills deficiencies.

People who have suffered from FASD because of their own mother’s drinking have joined in the calls to have warnings included on alcohol bottle labels. One sufferer even urged mothers to not even consider drinking while pregnant because it is not known what amount of alcohol it takes to cause damage.

The article on Couriermail.com.au explains:

824378-foetal-alcohol-syndrome“Every day this government fails to act, an incurable and preventable disorder becomes more prevalent,” FARE chief executive Michael Thorn said.

Liberal MP Sharman Stone, who was a member of the parliamentary committee into FASD, said many of the measures to stop pregnant women drinking it recommended won’t cost the government a cent.

“This is the number one cause of brain damage in newborns in Australia that is not genetic and babies born with it face a lifetime of hardship and distress,” she said.

Cairns resident – and FASD sufferer – Devin Seth can’t hold down a job, has difficulty learning, he’s been in trouble with the police, been suicidal and is taking three mental health medicines because his mother was prescribed alcohol by her doctor while pregnant.

Devin struggles daily with the permanent consequences of the two to three glasses of rum and milk his mother drank three times a week while she was pregnant.

“My brain never stops going a million miles an hour, it’s difficult to calm down and relax, I’m always on edge,” the 28-year-old said.

Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/pregnancy-drinking-harming-hundreds/story-fncyva0b-1226654826593

Apparently more than half of all pregnant women drink (around 60 per cent) and one in five continue to drink despite being pregnant. Because of this the government has given the alcohol industry a deadline of December 2013 to voluntarily apply labels warning women not to drink while pregnant on their product’s packaging. Some members of the alcohol industry have been complying with this request and the beer industry claims that 90 per cent of its products now include such labels. Although wine is the most popular drink among women, only around 10 per cent of wine bottles carry the warnings.

 

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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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