Stop drinking during pregnancy, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is irreversible - doctor

International Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Day is commemorated annually on 9 September to draw attention to the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

It’s estimated that 25 thousand babies are born with FAS in SA every year.

Vivien Lourens is one of the people who helped get International FAS day started in South Africa.

She has experienced what it feels like caring for a child with FAS when she was an emergency foster mom. In 1996 she was asked to take care of a 10 week old premature baby who was abandoned at birth.

Lourens took in baby Tisha and cared for her as her own.

The Hospital said she probably wouldn't last a weekend and that made me determined that she wouldn't die on me.

Vivien Lourens, mom

When they went for her first premature baby check up, the doctors told her that the baby had FAS. She says it was her first exposure to the condition and she didn't know what to do.

I got home and asked my husband please do research on this. We went on the internet and found a group in Canada going through the same problems which I was.

Vivien Lourens, mom

According to Lourens, Tisha was affected on both the physical as well as intellectual level.

She would never be independent. She cant even cross the road on her own because she has no consequences of traffic.

Vivien Lourens, mom

Life is not easy for her but she coped and she has such a tremendous personality

Vivien Lourens, mom

Pippa Hudson also spoke to Gynecologist and obstetrician Dr Peter Koll who explains that alcohol is a teratogen.

A teratogen is a substance that causes abnormalities to an unborn foetus. He says the damage done by alcohol on the baby is irreversible.

Alcohol is a teratogen it causes structural and developmental abnormalities in babies, so there is no safe level of alcohol, we simply have to avoid it completely during pregnancy.

Dr Peter Koll, Gynecologist and obstetrician

Once the damage is done, it is irreversible brain damage caused by alcohol...

Dr Peter Koll, Gynecologist and obstetrician

Pippa went on to talk to other role players including a disability activist and a local company which feels the social impact of FAS very acutely.

Listen to the full conversation below:

Read More
Secret to making great Cape Malay daltjies, curry and more - from Fatima Sydow

Secret to making great Cape Malay daltjies, curry and more - from Fatima Sydow

Author and culinary enthusiast Fatima Sydow shares her advice on how to cook famous and authentic Cape Malay dishes.

WATCH: Van Breda pleads not guilty while lawyer details his version of events

WATCH: Van Breda pleads not guilty while lawyer details his version of events

After the State prosecutor read out the charges against Henri van Breda, he pleaded not guilty to all five, EWN reports.

Here are the Easter road death stats per province

Here are the Easter road death stats per province

Transport Ministry announces a rise in the number of road fatalities over the Easter period this year and breaks down the figures.

This is how SA's Prof Glenda Gray made it to the TIME's 100 most influential

This is how SA's Prof Glenda Gray made it to the TIME's 100 most influential

Professor Glenda Gray says her recognition on the TIME's 100 most influential will help highlight the importance of HIV research.

Revisiting an interview with late activist and PAC leader Philip Kgosana

Revisiting an interview with late activist and PAC leader Philip Kgosana

CapeTalk presenter Pippa Hudson replays an interview and remembers anti-pass activist Philip Kgosana, who died at the age of 80.

Still no trace of missing Charlotte Nikoi, one month on

Still no trace of missing Charlotte Nikoi, one month on

The husband of missing Charlotte Nikoi has pleaded with public to come forward with any information regarding her whereabouts.

Popular articles
'We weren't going to quit', says Tim Noakes on not guilty verdict

'We weren't going to quit', says Tim Noakes on not guilty verdict

Prof Tim Noakes has been found not guilty by the Health Professions Council of South Africa on a charge of unprofessional conduct.

New evidence comes to light in Ipid's probe against top cop

New evidence comes to light in Ipid's probe against top cop

Ipid has revealed that evidence against Khomotso Phahlane shows a dubious pattern in car purchases.

Still no trace of missing Charlotte Nikoi, one month on

Still no trace of missing Charlotte Nikoi, one month on

The husband of missing Charlotte Nikoi has pleaded with public to come forward with any information regarding her whereabouts.

[Watch] All the Foreshore Freeway Project proposals

[Watch] All the Foreshore Freeway Project proposals

Take a look at the 6 six proposals that have been received by the City for the Foreshore freeway precinct.

We are in denial of people marching against us - Lindiwe Sisulu

We are in denial of people marching against us - Lindiwe Sisulu

Human Settlements Minister criticised the ANC for being passive at the memorial of late struggle stalwart Amhed Kathrada.

'Gigaba will have limited effect; the elephant in the room is the President'

'Gigaba will have limited effect; the elephant in the room is the President'

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Standard Bank Chief Economist Goolam Ballim.

How does El Nino affect Western Cape province?

How does El Nino affect Western Cape province?

Professor William Landman explains what El Nino is and its effects on the coming seasons in the Western Cape.

'Land restitution failed because Government is the biggest owner of land'

'Land restitution failed because Government is the biggest owner of land'

Bruce Whitfield interviews Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's advisor Chris Malikane and Business Leadership SA's Bonang Mohale.