Information for Mothers-to-be
Pregnancy is a time of great expectations – in the old days you’d have been asked ‘are you expecting?’ – expectations and hope that the baby will be healthy and that it will grow up to be a happy and contented adult. There are many ways in which we can contribute to that. Not to drink any alcohol during pregnancy is one of them. Alcohol is the most common cause of birth defects in children today.
Alcohol always presents a risk for the baby
From the beginning of pregnancy, alcohol puts the new life at risk. Any alcohol consumed by the mother-to-be ends up in the child’s bloodstream. Once there, it is metabolised only very slowly.
Alcohol is a cell toxin. It impedes the growth and development of the child’s organs, especially that of nerve connections in the brain. This has a range of consequences ranging from behavioural problems, concentration or learning difficulties to severe mental disabilities and physical deformities. The most severe form of these defects is called ‘Fetal Alcohol Syndrome’ (FAS). Many children suffering from it will require life-long care and support.
A few months of abstinence to keep a whole life safe
To this day, science has not been able to establish what amount of alcohol causes harm to a baby in the womb. Don’t take any risks ! The safest way to protect your child from harm is not to drink any alcohol at all during pregnancy.
Do you need help?
Not every woman finds it easy to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. If you have questions or need support, pregnancy support workers will be pleased to assist you further. Advice and counselling are available free of charge at pregnancy counselling services. You can find locations all over Bavaria at http://www.schwanger-null-promille.de/weiterhelfen/
There you can also find the contact details for the anonymous online services of government-certified pregnancy counselling centres. You can access confidential and free advice there by email.
And, of course, you can also always get help from your doctor or midwife to make sure your baby arrives healthy. Our best wishes are with you!
The experts at the Bavarian Centre for Prevention and Health Promotion (Bayerisches Zentrum für Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung) in collaboration with the members of the Bavarian Prevention Accord (Präventionspakt Bayern).
Everyone should know: Pregnant? – No alcohol!
Support makes it easier! Fathers, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, colleagues and friends can support mothers-to-be in their effort not to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Pass on the facts and help – so that babies can be born healthy!
Übersetzung aus dem Deutschen: Ethno-Medizinisches Zentrum e.V.