Dr Louise Farrell, vice-president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said while the jury was still out on whether small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy was harmful, it was disappointing that so many pregnant women were still smoking, given the clear health warnings against it. “The evidence to support the advice of absolutely no alcohol at all at any stage of pregnancy is pretty weak,” she said. “And I think that when the evidence for your advice isn’t very strong it probably won’t be observed as closely.”
Quote from Dr Kieran O’Malley Belfast Ireland with permission It always fascinates me that it is regarded as fact that any smoking is bad in pregnancy but alcohol is so complicated. I would love to see the evidence about low dose cigarette smoking in pregnancy and its long term effects on infants and children which the MDs have accepted with no argument. Obviously the mixed messages about alcohol will continue to create the next generation of alcohol effected children. And ‘subtle epigenetic ‘ issues such as the effect of prenatal alcohol on the developing brain (structure and neurochemistry) and its role in kindling early alcohol craving will continue to be ignored.
Quote from David Boulding, Lawyer, FASD Consultant and international presenter on FASD, Canada with permission The article (above) reflects the independent streak in Australians. Perhaps the learned scientist means Australian evidence is weak. Not surprizing as Australia is 25 to 35 years behind Canada in fetal alcohol research. Dr Sterling Clarren is one of the world’s leading authorities on fetal alcohol, and he says: ‘the only true statement about alcohol and pregnancy is that no alcohol equals no risk’. The rest of the world recognizes that Dr Clarren is correct. Thousands of children will have diminished lives if Australians don’t listen to the ‘no alcohol is safest’ message…your choice Australia!