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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 May 2006, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Pregnant women warned on alcohol
premature baby
Pregant women are advised to avoid all alcohol
Fifty babies in Northern Ireland in the last five years have suffered mental and physical defects because of their mothers' alcohol consumption.

Dr Shane McKee, a consultant at Belfast City Hospital, warned that even small amounts could do damage.

"Women should not drink any alcohol during pregnancy," Dr McKee said.

"We know from work in the States and here in Belfast the effect, even of very low levels of alcohol, on the baby in the womb are quite significant."

Speaking on the BBC's Stephen Nolan programme, Dr McKee said: "The advice would still be, although it's not spelled out as such in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists report, that abstinence during pregnancy, as in not drinking at all, is still the best option.

"That is the official advice coming, even in the US."

Children 'drink to danger levels'
19 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland
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14 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland

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