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:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Mass shutdown planned for Tuesday across WC

Mass shutdown planned for Tuesday across WC

The Western Cape Total Shutdown Communities want to raise awareness about the socio-economic ills they face on a daily basis.

Global workshop offers ideas on how to build a water resilient Cape Town

Global workshop offers ideas on how to build a water resilient Cape Town

100 Resilient Cities is a project which helps cities worldwide become more resilient to social, economic and climate challenges.

Dignity SA suspects murder case was prompted by those against assisted dying

Dignity SA suspects murder case was prompted by those against assisted dying

The founder of right-to-die organisation, Dignity SA, was arrested for allegedly assisting a friend to take their life in 2013.

You're unlikely to find appliance spares eight years after buying - Hirsch's CEO

You're unlikely to find appliance spares eight years after buying - Hirsch's CEO

For how many years should manufacturers or retailers keep spare parts after you have bought a product? ConsumerTalk investigates.

[LISTEN] Mother of three opens up about perinatal depression

[LISTEN] Mother of three opens up about perinatal depression

Pregnancy and the transition to motherhood can cause stress for many women. This can negatively affect their psychological health.

Concourt ruling on cannabis needs to filter down to cops, says dagga couple

Concourt ruling on cannabis needs to filter down to cops, says dagga couple

Myrtle Clark and Julian Stobbs, dubbed the dagga couple, have been trying for years to have dagga legalised.

Popular articles
Ramaphosa unveils statue of Madiba at UN headquarters

Ramaphosa unveils statue of Madiba at UN headquarters

The 1.9 metre statue is said to be a gift from South Africa to the international community.

KZN Metrorail services suspended due to vandalism

KZN Metrorail services suspended due to vandalism

Metrorail KZN Regional Spokesperson Zama Nomnganga says a build up of events led to the decision.

WC DA leader refuses to hand over electronic devices as party probes media leak

WC DA leader refuses to hand over electronic devices as party probes media leak

Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela confirmed that he was asked to hand over his devices but he says that he refused.

Ramaphosa's new advisory team has 6 months to draw up national land reform plan

Ramaphosa's new advisory team has 6 months to draw up national land reform plan

Land researcher Prof. Ruth Hall says the panel faces an exciting challenge to see how government can fix the land reform process.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.