As part of its enlightenment programmes, New Nigeria Foundation (NNF) has underscored the harmful effects of alcohol consumed by pregnant women on their unborn babies.
The New Nigeria Foundation’s Deputy Dirctor of Programmes, Mrs Bunmi Olatunde made the disclosure while sensitizing the media on the importance of promoting Responsible Beverage Service Program (RBS) to the public.
Chronicling the dangers of alcohol consumption by expectant mothers, she stated that it could among other things lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and low birth.
She advised that women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should know that the placenta does not protect a baby from alcohol, stressing that there is no safe amount or time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
Mrs Olatunde dismissed as myth the saying that alcohol increases breast milk flow and therefore should be taken by nursing and lactating mothers, warning that the harmful effects of alcohol on new and unborn babies can lead to physical and mental disabilities.
She called on hospitals, clinics and all health workers to ensure that pregnant women who use their facilities during ante- natal classes are educated on the dangers of alcohol consumption on their unborn babies pointing out that when pregnant women have the right information they are likely to do everything it takes to protect their babies.
On how to promote Responsible Beverage Service Program, she called for creation of in- house policies by hotels, restaurants and bars that will prohibit sales of alcohol to pregnant women as well as placing a ban on sales of alcohol to pregnant women through the LGA liquor licensing law and its enforcement.
She however, expressed belief that the slogan “Support a healthy start, don’t sell alcohol to expectant mothers”, when strictly adhered to by those who serve alcohol in public places will save unborn babies and the society at large.