Do women who drink before realising they’re pregnant harm their babies? Exposure during first six weeks ‘can cause permanent damage’, study warns
No alcohol No risk message needs to be shared prior to conception, especially when planning a family. Clear public health messages are needed as well as family doctors’ involvement in sharing such messages with their patients.
Below article was sourced from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Drinking during the first weeks of pregnancy can cause permanent damage to an unborn baby, experts today warned.
In the early stages – when most women will be unaware they are expecting – exposure to alcohol can cause symptoms of foetal alcohol syndrome, including stunted growth and hyperactivity.
Scientists at the University of Helsinki stressed their conclusions were drawn from a study examining mice.
But they warned their research supports the theory that drinking in pregnancy does harm the baby.
They found alcohol changes the way genes function in the brains of off-spring, and discovered those changes are permanent, noting the changes remained as the offspring aged.
Drinking alcohol at between three and six weeks pregnant can cause symptoms similar to foetal alcohol syndrome, the experts warned.
Past studies have found exposure to alcohol during pregnancy can damage a baby, increasing the risk of a child suffering learning disabilities and congenital deformities.