Pregnant women should abstain entirely from alcohol during their pregnancy, according to a new campaign from the department of Maggie De Block, federal minister for public health. De Block, herself a qualified medical practitioner, points out that the research makes it clear that alcohol in any quality is bad for a pregnant woman, and worse still for the foetus she is carrying.
Later this month, her department will launch a promotional campaign aimed at discouraging the consumption of alcohol not only during gestation, but also during the ensuing period of breast-feeding, since alcohol can pass from mother’s milk directly to the infant.
The main aim of the campaign is to get medical professionals at all levels to talk to their pregnant patients about the the risk of drinking while pregnant – which are well-known and have been known for years. De Block is keen to press for a zero-tolerance policy, which assumes that any drop of alcohol is a danger. This, compared to some medical advice which attempts to set maximum limits.
Maggie De Block is herself a qualified obstetrician, a specialist in women about to give birth.