September 9th International Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Awarness day, where the dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy are campaigned.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is a condition found in children after birth, after the consumption of alcohol by pregnant mothers during pregnancy. According to the Fetal Awareness Syndrome (FASD) organisation, posters, media campaigns and pamphlets are used on this day to raise awareness on this social issue. The organisation further explains that in all New Zealand and Alaskan time zones, bells are rung at 9.09am to acknowledge the importance of this day and a reminder to raise awareness through your nearest platform. Be it social media, posters, or t-shirts.
There is high risk of children being born with disabilities when women drink alcohol during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that drinking whilst pregnant can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth as well as lifelong and mental disabilities for the newborn baby.
Below are the symptoms that develop in children should they have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) as listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Poor memory
- Shorter than average height
- Low body weight
- Poor/ short attentions span
- Poor development of speech and language
- Heart, lung and kidney problems.
Health experts warn against the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Experts state that during pregnancy there should be zero percent of alcohol in the body, as it harms mother and unborn child.
Raising awareness on this issue helps those that are close to mothers with an alcohol problem. The South African Alcohol help line 0861 435 722 or www.farrsa.org.za can be contacted for those in need of help.