Alcohol advice for pregnant women | Letters

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Leigh Lewis and Elaine Hindal of Drinkaware and Hubert Sacy of Éduc’alcool respond to a report on research that criticised the advice their organisations give

Your article (Pregnant women encouraged to drink by alcohol industry, researchers claim, 14 October) suggests that Drinkaware has published information saying “light drinking” in pregnancy is safe. Nowhere on our website are there any such statements. On the contrary, we advise unequivocally that the safest approach is not to drink at all during pregnancy or while trying to conceive, and we refer clearly to the chief medical officers’ guidelines. We also set out in detail on our website the risks of foetal alcohol syndrome. It is suggested that our information “confuses matters by adding: ‘How a baby will be affected depends on how much its mother drinks’”; far from confusing matters, this is simply a statement of fact. We urge anybody in doubt to visit our website to view what we say:
Leigh Lewis Chairman, Drinkaware
Elaine Hindal CEO, Drinkaware

• Your article claims that Éduc’alcool “maintains that ‘[the] risk to the foetus is reduced considerably if you have only one drink every now and then’”. This is actually an excerpt from a joint publication by the Quebec College of Physicians and Éduc’alcool – part of the answer to a very specific question: “Does limited drinking endanger the foetus in the same way [as heavy drinking]?” And the answer continues: “The effects of alcohol are proportional to the amount you drink and how frequently you drink. That’s why abstaining from drinking throughout your pregnancy is the safest choice.”

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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