Every drop of alcohol in pregnancy is one drop too much. With this urgent reminder to the "day of the alcohol-damaged child" many organizations and the Federal Drug Commissioner Mechthild Dyckmans point out the fatal consequences of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. According to the Federal Drug Commissioner, only 44 percent of Germans know about the danger of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The Robert Koch Institute found in a large study that almost every 5th pregnant drink alcohol. In 8 percent of pregnant women, one must assume a risky drinking behavior in the sense of a precursor to alcohol dependence.
All experts agree: even the smallest amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can damage the unborn baby's life. Dyckmanns emphasizes that there is no safe amount of drinking water. She called for pregnant women to be better informed about the consequences of alcohol consumption.
4,000 children with severe physical and mental limitations
The consequences of drinking alcohol during pregnancy are heavy: Every year around 10,000 children are born with the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in Germany. With 4,000 of them, the disease is fully developed. Physicians then speak of a fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is the most common non-inherited congenital severe physical and mental disorder. By comparison, around 2,000 children are born each year with hereditary Down's syndrome. Each case of FASD or FAS could be avoided by abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy.
The fetal alcohol syndrome is - similar to the Down syndrome or trisomy 21 - associated with severe physical and mental limitations. FAS children are dependent on help for life. The Federal Commissioner has published the brochure "The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder" with a wealth of information for affected families.