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Women should be advised not to consume any alcohol during their pregnancy Discuss this statement, including relevant research evidence - Essay Example

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The question of whether to completely abstain from alcohol during pregnancy was difficult to answer. It has been difficult to determine the exact effects on the baby since some of the effects…
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Women should be advised not to consume any alcohol during their pregnancy Discuss this statement, including relevant research evidence
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"Women should be advised not to consume any alcohol during their pregnancy Discuss this statement, including relevant research evidence"

Download file to see previous pages a substance which interferes with the normal development of the embryo or foetus) that readily crosses the placenta” (p.1). There is enough research evidence now to confirm that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can have many different effects physically, neurologically and mentally. The severity of these effects varies widely. According to The American Pregnancy Association these effects are categorized as ‘Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders’ (FASD).
The incidence of FASD in children indicates the seriousness of the issue. Statistics presented by the British Medical Association show that 0.21 per 1000 live births in 2004 in England and Scotland, between 0.5 and 2 per 1,000 live births in the US; 4.7 per 1,000 live births in Australian aboriginal populations; 68.0- 89.2 per 1,000 children in part of South Africa and 10 in every 1,000 live births in Canada (p.2-3). The effects of alcohol on the foetus have been adequately documented. The US Surgeon sums it up in their news release when they state “Based on the current, best science available we now know the following: Alcohol consumed during pregnancy increases the risk of alcohol related birth defects, including growth deficiencies, facial abnormalities, central nervous system impairment, behavioural disorders, and impaired intellectual development”. More specific effects include disrupting cellular activity which alters the transport and utilization of glucose and this can cause premature cell death. Normal development is therefore interfered with. This is what causes the abnormalities in the physical structure of the foetus and in the central nervous system. For the mother there are also dangerous effects such as risk of miscarriage, infertility, menstrual disorder, pre-term deliveries or even still-births. The National Institutes of Health (2007) attribute the following to prenatal alcohol ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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