16 percent of women in Luxembourg admit to drinking alcohol during pregnancy

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(DB) According to a survey carried out by the Health Ministry at the Bohler Clinic and the Maternité Grande-Duchesse Charlotte between August and October 2012, 16 percent of the polled pregnant women consumed alcohol during their pregnancy.

With the slogan “No alcohol while pregnant and breastfeeding”, the Health Ministry has now launched an anti-alcohol campaign for pregnant women.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the main cause of non-genetic mental disabilities in children in the Western world. A child whose mother consumed alcohol whilst pregnant can also develop physical, cognitive, and behavioural disorders, the Health Ministry said.

It is estimated that one percent of live births suffer from disorders caused by pre-birth alcohol consumption, which can have consequences in later life, such as difficulties to live an independent and balanced life, to integrate into society and to find a job.

The most serious of these disorders, the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), befalls an estimated 0.2 o 8.2 percent of live births in Europe.

Alcohol is directly transmitted from mother to child through their joint blood circulation

93.5 percent of pregnant women in Luxembourg claim to be aware of the harmful effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and lactation. The damages caused by alcohol can affect unborn children at any stage of the pregnancy and regardless of the amount consumed.

Alcohol is directly transmitted from mother to child through their joint blood circulation, meaning that the child reaches the same alcohol level as the mother. However, it takes a child 10 times longer to break down the alcohol because of its underdeveloped liver and a lack of enzymes.

The Health Ministry warned that alcohol-related dangers for babies tend to be played down by society. The aim of the campaign is to call attention to the serious consequences of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and to make clear that these dangers are easily avoidable.

For more information about the campaign visit ms.public.lu or sante.lu