Western Cape Health Minister Nomafrench Mbombo has called on pregnant women to stop drinking while pregnant. The call comes as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day is commemorated across the world on Wednesday.

The aim is to create awareness and to focus attention on the fact that any alcohol consumed by a woman during the nine months of pregnancy can damage her unborn baby.

Mbombo conducted an outreach awareness programme in Gugulethu on the Cape Flats.

She says the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can also cause damage to the baby’s brain.

Some symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, fetal alcohol syndrome causes growth problems and brain damage.

The severity of the condition may differ in each child, with some children experiencing it to a far greater degree than others.

Some symptoms associated with the condition include:

  • Physical effects, such as deformed joints, limbs and fingers, slow physical growth before and after birth
  • Brain and central nervous system problems, such as poor coordination and balance, poor memory, attention span problems and rapid mood changes
  • Social behavioural issues, such as trouble getting along with others, poor social skills and poor time conception.

In the video below, experts unpack the adverse effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy:

-Additional information sourced from Mayo Clinic