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Mums-to-be told to ditch alcohol

Pregnant women or those trying for a baby must leave that bottle of wine untouched after the Department of Health said they should no longer drink alcohol.

The guidance replaces existing advice, which recommends that mums-to-be and women trying to conceive should not drink more than one to two units of alcohol once or twice a week.

The department said the new guidance is not based on new scientific evidence, but is needed to help ensure that women do not underestimate the risks to their baby.

The move comes after a government survey found that 9% of pregnant women are still drinking above the recommended levels.

Evidence shows that although all the UK had the same guidance, it was being interpreted differently across the countries.

The Department of Health said the National Organisation on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome estimates that more than 6,000 children are born in the UK each year with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Jane Brewin, chief executive of the baby charity Tommy's, said: "There is no proven safe level of alcohol to drink during pregnancy, because any amount can pass through the placenta to the baby.

"Women who drink excessive amounts of alcohol during their pregnancy are taking grave risks.

"Alcohol causes more damage to the developing foetus than any other substance, including marijuana, heroin and cocaine."

Department of Health


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