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Explore the art of health deduction with medically illustrated cases by Dr Ciléin Kearns

Alcohol in pregnancy

Alcohol in pregnancy

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Not the expected words on alcohol from an Irish person on St Patrick’s day?

After seeing some pretty emotive cases during my Addiction Psychiatry attachment, I wanted to tackle the massive public health challenge of the danger to babies of drinking alcohol during preggerhood. We hear a lot of “don’t do X”, and not enough ‘why’ we shouldn’t. Psychology research shows it’s easier to accept and follow advice when we understand it, particularly for things we don’t want to do. This is used in Paediatrics to help children cope with and accept necessary but potentially painful procedures such as venepuncture (taking blood).

The safe amount to drink is unfortunately none, but 9 months of soberness may literally be the difference between life and death for bebe, and the positive effects can last their entire lifetime, so it’s a worthy investment in their future and potential. The most important time for brain development and potential for a human being is during pregnancy, and the first few years of life when the brain is developing most rapidly, so this is a pretty important thing to be aware of..

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