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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Monday 09 September is Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day

Monday 09 September is Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day, to raise awareness of FASD and promote the prevention of alcohol exposed pregnancies.

FASD day was chosen to be on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year to raise awareness of having an alcohol free nine months of pregnancy.

FASD is a lifelong condition that results from a baby being exposed to alcohol in the womb before they are born. This exposure to alcohol can affect how a baby’s brain and body develop and may ultimately lead to a range of physical, emotional and developmental issues.

The Chief Medical Officer in Scotland has published the following guidelines regarding alcohol in pregnancy:

• If you are pregnant or think you could become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

• Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink the greater the risk. The message they wish to promote relating to alcohol in pregnancy is ‘no alcohol, no risk’.

Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:

“I fully support FASD Awareness Day.

“According to NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s 2018-2021 strategy document, there is an estimated prevalence of between 2% and 5%. This means the number of people living in Ayrshire who have been affected by antenatal alcohol exposure is likely to be between 7,336 (2%) and 18,340 (5%).

“Ayrshire Maternity Unit sees approximately 3,500 births per year. The estimated prevalence would result in 70 (2%) to175 (5%) babies born each year that have been affected by antenatal alcohol exposure.

“We must as a society endeavour to help every child have the best start in life. This requires not only measures relating to education and child poverty; it includes efforts to eradicate the damage don’t by FASD before children are even born.”


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