Consuming Alcohol Whilst Pregnant Could Become A Crime

Like really? If you knew it was illegal to drink because your current state was of one ‘with child’ would, it really stop you from reaching for that glass of wine?

Current news headlines about pregnancy and alcohol are calling for it to become a crime. Campaigners are a step closer to making it a crime to drink heavily during pregnancy, with a landmark case around this issue due to be heard by the court of appeal.

I would love to know how are they going to enforce this? Ok, so they could make supermarkets/liquor stores refuse to serve pregnant woman but then it’s like an under 18 getting an over 18 to buy for them, there’s always sadly ways around it. Pubs could refuse to serve pregnant woman as well but then would they want to go down that road risking insulting a woman who’s struggling with that last little bit of baby weight? Or someone who’s never even had a child.

The only solution I could see to that would be to produce a pregnancy test at the checkout or bar and ask them to wee on it, if it comes back negative then they can go ahead and order that glass of wine. Is that practical? Would that ever happen? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Who is this being aimed at? Those who have a ‘drinking issue’ pre-children that fall pregnant while in the midst of this addiction? It certainly sounds like they were the people who caused issues to the children from the article I was reading. Where it spoke of a 15 year old who thanks to FAS (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome) has the mental age of a 4-year-old, this was told to us by his adoptive mother which shows that his parents are obviously not around in his life or that they may still be, but dont have that ordinary parent/child relationship.

That landmark case refers to a 6-year-old who suffered brain damage due to alcohol exposure in the womb; she’s a victim of a crime because her mother was warned of the risks of her drinking. Now we can only spectate as onlookers to this; we dont know the full facts. By being ‘warned’ do we know what lengths were reached with teaching this mother what could happen? If that child had been harmed by her mother outside the womb, we all know social services would be involved and that a crime had taken place. How do social services usually get involved? Because a flag is usually raised. There was one raised at the time of that mother’s pregnancy, doesn’t more need to be done to look into what could have prevented it at the time?

I know mothers dont have to binge drink to be at risk as the current guidelines tell you this. It saddens me to read the statistic about there being a 50% rise in FAS with 313 babies in 2012/2013 found to be damaged from being exposed to alcohol while in the womb. That is a shocking figure! But do backgrounds of who these babies are being born to need to be looked into? Is there the right support in place for those women with drink problems who find themselves pregnant and is there support in the right areas?  Is everyone who could come into contact with a pregnant woman from the moment of conception fully aware of the dangers of drinking while pregnant so it can be passed on?

My children and many of my friend’s children are healthy kids, and any health issues with any of them are far from ones self-inflicted from issues such as FAS. This is because we plan for our children, we want our children, and upon deciding this, we only want the best for them. So we know the moment we become pregnant what the dos & donts are during pregnancy, we either go hunting for these rules, or they are taught to us by Midwives and health professionals who are there to look after our welfare and babies during the prenatal period.

And that’s where any effort and funds need to go, to those people who have a direct line to seeing these women. How about giving more support to organisations such as The National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome UK (NOFAS-UK) and FASAWAREUK. Those who are at the front line of supporting families affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders and promoting awareness of it to the public. They are guiding and educating the professionals who could potentially see those women with alcohol issues at the very start of pregnancies; these are the people who can help these women to have healthy pregnancies with healthy babies as the end result.