Drinking When Pregnant

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Drinking When Pregnant

Synopsis

EPISODE 31 Tue 15 Oct
Is alcohol ever ok for expectant mothers?

Meet The Guests

Morgan, 18

Morgan’s mum drank heavily while Morgan was in the womb. Today, Morgan has trouble reading, writing and understanding abstract concepts such as time and money.  "If I don’t understand something I’ve always just zoned out because I know I’m not ever going to understand it," she says. Like other people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Morgan doesn’t qualify for disability services.

Claire, 22

Claire’s anger can be uncontrollable. "I have a very short fuse and anything can trigger it off. I get sensory overload," she says. Claire’s mum Tracy drank alcohol throughout her pregnancy with Claire and now regrets it. Tracy says she had no idea of the possible consequences and was never advised against drinking.

Tristan, 14

Tristan lives in Fitzroy Valley, Western Australia, with his Aunt Marmingee and Uncle Geoff. His mother drunk heavily when she was pregnant. He struggles with reading and writing and has to be reminded to do basic things like shower. Geoff and Marmingee are worried about him getting into trouble as he gets older.

Elizabeth Eliott

Professor Elizabeth Elliott says there is no safe level of drinking in pregnancy because each woman metabolises alcohol differently. She says that alcohol can cause worse permanent damage to babies' brains than heroin or crack cocaine. She runs a FASD clinic at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Professor Elliott says many doctors don’t have a good understanding of FASD and she’s worried women are getting mixed messages from doctors about drinking during pregnancy.