Alcohol: Pregnant Women

House of Lords written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what they are doing to educate pregnant women about the dangers of alcohol for unborn babies.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Public Health England's (PHE) Start4life campaign provides advice to pregnant women on establishing healthy habits to give their babies the best start in life and reduce the risk of poor health in the future. Alcohol and the reasons why it is best avoided in pregnancy is one of the five key behaviours covered in the campaign and these are promoted via the campaign website and to subscribers to the Start4Life Information Service for Parents.

PHE launched a leaflet that includes information on alcohol and the reasons why it is best avoided in pregnancy which is widely distributed to pregnant women via general practitioners and midwives.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's 2008 guideline includes recommendations for doctors and midwives on the advice they should give to pregnant women about drinking alcohol.

The Government is also committed to improving the labelling of alcoholic drinks, including a warning for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.

As part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, alcohol retailers and producers have a responsibility to help raise this awareness and committed to putting an agreed warning or a pregnancy warning logo on 80% of labels on bottles and cans by the end of 2013. An independent market survey is underway to measure compliance.

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