Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Department of Health written question – answered on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent steps he has taken to publicise the harm to unborn children caused by binge drinking by pregnant women.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Government’s advice is that women should avoid drinking alcohol if they are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. If women do drink, it is best to minimise the risk to the baby by not drinking more than one to two units of alcohol once or twice a week.

The Government funds the Start4Life website and the Information Service for Parents, which provides pregnant women/new mothers and their partners with comprehensive advice on staying healthy in pregnancy, preparing for birth and looking after their baby, and includes advice on risks of drinking before conception and during pregnancy.

The Start4Life digital service for Parents provides National Health Service and other quality assured advice, including on alcohol consumption via regular text and email updates. Since launching on 18 May 2012, 384,985 new parents have signed up to the service.

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