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May 23, 2006

UK vs. US, the battle of the booze

The UK officially says it's OK for pregnant women to consume "one or two units of alcohol" once or twice a week and that these small amounts have not been proven to do any harm. This two-drink maximum recommendation comes even when 1 in 100 UK babies are born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (the milder form of fetal alcohol syndrome, also known as FASD). Meanwhile, stateside, things are moving in a somewhat different direction:

New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control.

This, from the Washington Post re: new CDC guidelines. So while pregnant women overseas are trusted to make the right choices once they've conceived, women in the U.S. are so unable to make choices that they need to think of themselves as pregnant as soon as they possibly might be? Pretty terrifying.

by ceridwen at 9:49 PM
in pregnancy


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