Exposure: When pregnant women drink.
- Mather, Mary, Contributor.
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About this work
This documentary looks at the effects of mothers drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Paediatrician Mary Mather describes how alcohol affects the growing foetus. There are two scenarious: Foetal Alcohol Syndrome results in quite obvious facial deformities and is the result of a mother drinking during weeks 6-9 of the pregnancy whilst Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder can occur from drinking at any stage of the pregnancy and is harder to diagnose as the problems caused are mostly behavioural. Professor Peter Hammond attempts to diagnose whether or not adopted child James' facial scans can be used to diagnose foetal alcohol spectrum disorder as he doesn't have the tell-take facial abnormalities. 17-year-old Jade was adopted when she was five and lives with the effects of her mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy; she describes how this affects her, particularly her temper. She is impulsive and has trouble with her short-term memory. Sam describes her own drinking during pregnancy and the effects this has had on her son. Professor Sir Al Aynsley-green, former Children's Commissioner for England, describes how confusing advice is relating to alcohol during pregnancy. A group of women discuss what they know of acceptable limits of alcohol; in America and Canada no alcohol at all is the recommendation. Mary Mather believes that the effects of alcohol on the growing foetus are greater than those of heroine. We meet Leigh who is now 26 after having had a lifetime suffering from the effects of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.