What are your thoughts on the direction the Irish Medical Organisation may be taking in regards to prenatal alcohol consumption?
As an FASD prevention project, we understand that women do not consume alcohol with the intent on harming their children. FASD prevention needs to support addressing and eliminating the factors that contribute to alcohol-use when pregnant (for example, poverty, domestic violence, mental health concerns) and ensure that they do not blame or shame women in an understanding that FASD prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
IMO calls for alcohol testing in pregnancy to reduce foetal alcohol syndrome in Ireland
Expectant Irish mothers should be screened for alcohol consumption during pregnancy, doctors believe. It follows revelations that Ireland is in the top three countries worldwide for incidence of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), including foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
A screening programme for pregnant women would be ethical, the annual Irish Medical Organisation’s (IMO) conference was told this weekend. A motion calling for its introduction was proposed by Dr Mary O’Mahony, a public health specialist, and passed unanimously by delegates.
“Women need to own the public health imperative that pregnancy be alcohol-free to prevent foetal alcohol spectrum disorders,” O’Mahony said at the meeting in Killarney.
“The goal of this motion is to ensure that every woman’s pregnancy is supported to be free from alcohol, to prevent…