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Government advises no alcohol during pregnancy

Published:  23 July, 2008

Department of Health's (DoH) new guidelines say one or two glasses of wine per week is unacceptable.

The National Organisation on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome estimates for the UK as a whole that there are more than 6,000 children born each year with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Children, Young People and Maternity Services national clinical director Dr Sheila Shribman added: "Our last survey of pregnant women showed that 9% were still drinking above the recommended levels.

"Although there is still scientific uncertainty about the precise impact of excess alcohol on unborn babies we believe the time is right to introduce a strong consistent approach across the whole of the UK. This revised advice has been agreed by the four chief medical officers across the UK."

The previous advice in England was that pregnant women or women trying to conceive should not drink more than one to two units of alcohol once or twice a week and should avoid getting drunk.