Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Telling women not to drink during pregnancy ‘sexist’ – Telegraph.co.uk

Clare Murphy, the organisation’s director of external affairs, said: “There can be real consequences to overstating evidence, or implying certainty when there isn’t any.

“Doing so can cause women needless anxiety and alarm – sometimes to the point that they consider ending an unplanned but not unwanted pregnancy because of fears they have caused irreparable harm.

“But just as importantly,  it assumes women cannot be trusted to understand risk, and when it comes to alcohol, the difference between low and heavy consumption.”

The Department of Health refused to comment on the BPAS criticism, however a spokesman for the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said it was “best to avoid alcohol”.

“This advice is not about policing pregnant women’s behaviour, it is about giving them unbiased information and enabling them to make the choice that is right for them,” said Janet Fyle, RCM Professional Policy Advisor.

“Cumulative and regular alcohol consumption in pregnancy could have an impact on the health and wellbeing of mother and baby.”

She stressed, however, that expectant mothers concerned about their levels of drinking during should be supported by midwives in a “non-judgemental way”.

Accurate data on the the effects of moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy is almost impossible to achieve because it would be unethical to initiate wide-scale studies which compared the outcomes for children of drinkers to those of non-drinkers.

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