Wednesday 10 March 2010

Alcohol and pregnancy

I noticed today that voluntary testing for alcohol in pregnant woman has been trialled in a London hospital. Even though pregnancy is clearly not for me I still felt a rising  urge to go off on.

First I was muttering to myself how long will it be before the health police make alcohol testing compulsory for pregnant women.

Then I got on to pondering where did the alcohol ban for pregnant women come from anyway? The current recommendation for pregnant women is that they avoid alcohol altogether, though at a push they begrudgingly allow a pint or half twice a week tops. Now there's no doubt that foetal alcohol syndrome is a terrible thing and totally avoidable. But on the other hand if the danger of alcohol is really that great wouldn't vast swathes of humanity have been wiped out centuries ago? And it wasn't that long ago that pregnant women and nursing mothers were advised to drink Guinness.

So where do alcohol limits come from? The standard one for adults was pretty much plucked out of the air. You would think that by now they could have come up with something based on actual scientific research! But let’s face it, the government sets the limits and politicians don't like to let facts interfere with their policies.

OK, rant over, I’m feeling better now.


  1. If you want to rant, you want to read the types of links Mudgie puts on his blog in regard to stories of pregnant women that try and buy booze from a pub, supermarket or offie. Adult women refused service for a legal product is a brief summary of the usual story.

  2. It think I'd best steer clear of that, I've got my ranting out of my system for now and calmness has descended.