Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Alcohol and pregnancy debate

Impartial information about alcohol during pregnancy or another modern day witch hunt?

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 27 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5680
  1. Alain Braillon, senior consultant1,
  2. Susan Bewley, professor of complex obstetrics2
  1. 1University Hospital, 80000 Amiens, France
  2. 2Women’s Health Academic Centre, King’s College London, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK
  1. braillon.alain{at}

O’Brien rightly rejects bullying intelligent, autonomous, adults just because they are pregnant.1 The answer to his question “just how common are fetal alcohol spectrum disorders?” is that alcohol during pregnancy is the foremost cause of preventable mental impairment in Western countries.2 Moreover, because few clinicians diagnose prenatal exposure to alcohol at birth, it is too late to offer secondary …

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