A new proposal by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests that expectant mothers should report on all alcohol consumed during their pregnancy. The information would be put on record, regardless of whether the expectant mothers consent to it.
NICE based the proposal on the need to identify children, who are at risk of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which can result in physical problems and problems with behaviour and learning in children.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) expressed its concern over the proposal and suggested that there is no compelling research showing harm to fetus at lower levels of consumption.
If the proposal becomes a regulation, it will see pregnant women, even during the first week of pregnancy, having to report a single glass of wine. The information will then remain on a mother’s medical file.
The discussed measures also received a fair amount of criticism on social media, with some calling the proposal “extreme.”
— Le GfB (@Gavin_F_Brewis) September 16, 2020
— Splodgehappy 🐣♤🐳♡🌍◇🗻♧🏰 (@Splodgehappy) September 16, 2020
— Jessica (@willowstamford) September 16, 2020
— lindy (@lindyloo25) September 16, 2020
Another Twitter user, Louise Kenny, called the policy “patronising and possibly harmful,” and criticised lack of funding for perinatal health research.
— Louise Kenny (@louiseckenny) September 16, 2020
BPAS also referred to polling results showing that the majority of mothers (60%) feel data on alcohol consumption should not be put on record without their consent.
A study by the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has shown that more than 40% of pregnant women in Britain don’t shy away from a glass or more while pregnant. The research also found one of the highest rates of FASD in the world belonged to Britain, with an estimated 61.3 cases per 10,000 births.