herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Expectant mums here worst for drinking

Irish women are more inclined to drink while pregnant than their counterparts in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, according to a new international analysis
Irish women are more inclined to drink while pregnant than their counterparts in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, according to a new international analysis

Irish women are more inclined to drink while pregnant than their counterparts in other countries, according to a new international analysis.

Although their weekly consumption tends to be low - one or two small glasses of wine a week - they are ignoring public health guidelines which say women should give up alcohol because of the risk of mental and physical problems the unborn baby may suffer.

The new research compared previous studies involving 17,244 women who delivered live babies in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Linda O'Keeffe of Cambridge University who led the study told the Irish Independent: "The big message here is the mismatch between what the guidelines say and what women are doing. We must put the responsibility on government to ensure we are conveying the guidelines effectively."

Ireland has the highest rates of drinking, both before (90pc) and during (82pc) pregnancy.

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