SHOCKING New Statistics Show Ireland In Top Five Countries In The World For Alcohol Use In Pregnancy
Shocking new figures published on Friday have provided the first-ever estimates of the numbers of women who drink alcohol during pregnancy, as well as worldwide estimates of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) - a preventable birth defect.
A new study by Canada's largest mental health and addiction hospital has shown that large numbers of women are continuing to consume alcohol during pregnancy. The research found that, globally, nearly 10 percent of women drink alcohol during pregnancy, with wide variations by country and WHO region. Appallingly, the rate of alcohol consumption during pregnancy almost reaches 50 percent in some countries.
Despite advice from the Department of Health and Children that alcohol should be avoided completely during pregnancy, Ireland still made its way into the study's top five countries with the highest alcohol use in pregnancy. The four other countries with mamas-to-be knocking back drinks were the United Kingdom, Russia, Denmark, and Belarus.
Worldwide, it is estimated that 119,000 children are born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome every year, a fully preventable birth defect characterised by mental, behavioural, and learning problems, as well as physical disabilities. Along with the bad news about Ireland's alcohol-consuming pregnant ladies, the study also found that Europe has a 2.6 higher prevalence of FAS than the global average. The lowest levels of drinking and FAS were found in the Eastern Mediterranean and South East Asia regions.
Dr. Svetlana Popova, a senior scientist at the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, and the study's lead author said that not every woman who drinks while pregnant will have a child with FAS:
"We estimated that one in 67 mothers who drink during pregnancy will deliver a child with FAS"
Dr. Popova warns that this figure is very conservative and does not include other types of FASD that may occur from alcohol consumption during pregnancy, including partial FAS (pFAS) and Alcohol-related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND):
"The safest thing to do is to completely abstain from alcohol during the entire pregnancy"
An earlier study by the doctor and her team, published last year, showed that more than 400 disease conditions co-occur with FAS.
Are YOU surprised by Ireland's appearance in the top five countries with the highest alcohol use in pregnancy? Do you think Irish women are lax about drinking while they are expecting?
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