BURTON’S MP has called for more support for expectant mothers with a drink problem after he uncovered a shocking rise the number of babies born deformed or disabled as a result.
Andrew Griffiths called on the Department of Health to look at ways to better educate pregnant woman about the dangers of drinking while carrying their baby.
The parliamentarian found that medics across the UK dealt with 313 cases of foetal alcohol syndrome last year, which had risen by a shocking 48 per cent.
Mr Griffiths, who uncovered the statistics as part of his work for think tank Centre for Social Justice, said: “As the MP for Burton, I obviously campaign for a strong brewing industry but I also take a great interest in making sure those addicted to alcohol get the help that they need.
“I was shocked to uncover these statistics and learn about the damaging impact that pregnant mums drinking while carrying their babies can have on the youngsters for the rest of their life.
“I think work needs to be done to make sure that young mums understand the long-term impacts that drinking can have before it is too late.
“We need to work to educate and inform so numbers like this begin to fall and become a thing of the past.
“The key is education and groups such as Recovery Is Out There (RIOT) and the Harvey Girls in Burton could help play a major role in helping change and influence the lives of pregnant woman in need of help.
“Whether it be getting former addicts to speak to youngsters at school, in a bid to deter them from an early age, or to target pregnant mums via group discussions or one on one interventions, something has to be done to make sure that babies are given the best start in life.”