Pregnancy alcohol ban26th March 2008
A new ruling from the NHS health regulator has warned that women should not drink any alcohol during pregnancy.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says that if pregnant women feel they must drink, they should not do so in the first three months and should limit consumption to one or two units once or twice a week thereafter.
NICE points out that there is no evidence to support its change of stance but the new ruling does bring it back into line with government policy, having previously suggested that small daily amounts of alcohol were fine.
NICE decided to change its position because of concerns that people - particularly women - were now drinking more alcohol.
Deputy chief executive Dr Gillian Leng said NICE wanted to send a â€œclear messageâ€? but felt that the support for women this area was patchy.
She added that it reinforced the advice which came out last year saying women should be advised not to drink while pregnant.
â€œUnfortunately not all women are getting the support they need at the moment,â€? added Dr Leng.
Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, welcomed the new guidance from NICE and stressed that with the risk of miscarriage higher in the early stages of pregnancy, it was particularly important not to drink at the beginning of pregnancy.
However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said there was no evidence that a couple of units once or twice a week would do any harm to the baby.
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Title: Pregnancy alcohol ban
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 6092
Date Added: 26th Mar 2008