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Advising pregnant women on alcohol is 'patronising and unethical'

The official guidelines on drinking alcohol while pregnant are often 'patronising and unethical'
The official guidelines on drinking alcohol while pregnant are often "paternalistic and ethically dubious", one expert has argued.

Citing a spate of recent reports which offer differing advice on the matter, Dr Colin Gavaghan of the School of Law at the University of Glasgow has argued that evidence linking the moderate consumption of alcohol with foetal damage is "far from clear cut" and as such doctors should be wary of lecturing expectant women.

Writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, he explained that many women may actually benefit from the occasional drink while pregnant, with alcohol helping mothers-to-be to relax.

"For an increasing number of people, however, it seems as though the quality of life of the pregnant woman is so far behind the interests of the future child in any scale of ethical relevance as to be beneath consideration altogether," he added.

Meanwhile, Reuters Health has reported that the 2009 Joint Conference of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) has heard that antidepressant drugs could not only improve the mood of substance-dependent pregnant women, but could also help them to quit smoking.

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i had the occasional red wine while pregnant and my son was healthy bouncing baby, he eats,sleeps, interacts really well...he has colic but i this is common. just be sensible enjoy an occasional drink but dont get drunk...remember your baby will be drunk too...!! thats what i used to keep myself in check. its always better to abstain i suppose but if you look at the european culture they often enjoy a wine with dinner. doctors are not legally allowed to promte drinking for obvious reasons so go with how you feel its your baby after all just be sensible your a mother now lol xx
by leaxx 28th Aug 2009, 8:25am
I agree on this, yes excessive drinking is bound to do harm, but a small amount surely doesn't? I didn't know I was pregnant til 4 months, I didn't go on any 'benders' lol but I went on holiday with the girls and there was fair bit of wine consumed...also went on nights out where again wine was drunk...and my baby is prefect!
by BandaPanda 11th May 2009, 11:45am
I think its a breath of fresh air to read this new report. I did not drink alcohol when I had my son at all and he was born with a spate of developmental problems. Years ago women had the occasional drink every week whilst pg and no harm ever befell their baby. I would like to see some actual hard evidence of the effects before some condescending, know-it-all director decides to pass judgement on women in a very personal time in their lives.
by Benandbumpsmum 5th May 2009, 12:27pm

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