The Irish Medical Organisation has called for alcohol testing in pregnancy. They hope that alcohol screenings will help lower the number of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders in Ireland.


600 babies are born with foetal alcohol syndrome in Ireland every year, which is caused by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol during pregnancy.


Ireland has one of the highest rates of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders in the world.



The IMO hopes this move will lower the rates in Ireland as a concerning number of women in Ireland continue to drink throughout their pregnancy.


It is understood that 80 percent of Irish women admitted to drinking alcohol during their first pregnancy, with Ireland being named as one of the top five countries where pregnant mums consume alcohol.


President of the IMO, Dr Ann Hogan stated that alcohol screenings will make huge improvements, “It gives the doctor an opportunity to make a brief intervention which has been proven to be effective in stopping drinking during pregnancy and in other behavioural issues."


She believes that both doctors and expectant mums will benefit from alcohol screenings.



Dr Mary T. O’Mahony added, “The goal of this motion is to ensure that every woman’s pregnancy is supported to be free from alcohol, to prevent FASD, brain damage caused by exposure to prenatal alcohol.”


In some cases, the symptoms of FAS are immediately recognisable at birth, while other children will not be diagnosed until pre-school when they begin to show signs of developmental problems.



There are major consequences for children affected by FAS including, “brain damage which is permanent and is associated with physical, mental, educational, social and behavioural difficulties.”


The IMO added that their long-term goal is to prevent Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder.