Pregnancy tipple 'can harm baby'

In recent years, we seem to have moved from the understanding that no amount of alcohol was safe in pregnancy, to an acceptance that a "small amount" of alcohol was perfectly OK. But how much is a small amount? We now know that no amount of alcohol is safe in pregnancy.

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A leading Perth paediatrician is warning doctors against advising pregnant women that it is safe to enjoy an occasional drink, arguing even one glass of wine can harm an unborn's brain.

[Professor] of paediatrics Desiree Silva said yesterday that she was aware of doctors who reassured women it was "absolutely fine" to have the occasional social drink during pregnancy.

She said the advice was confusing women, who needed to get consistent information reflecting National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines that the safest choice was not to drink at all during pregnancy.

"Health professionals should understand that the level of alcohol in the maternal and foetal circulations is the same, hence just one glass would be one glass too much for the foetal brain," ...

... Dr Silva said she saw many children in her practice with complex behavioural issues including autism and ADHD who had been exposed to alcohol in pregnancy ...

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