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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2005 Feb 17;125(4):445-7.

[Fetal injury and alcohol drinking during pregnancy].

[Article in Norwegian]

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  • 1Barneklinikken, Haukeland Universitetssykehus, 5021 Bergen.



There is still an ongoing discussion whether moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy is harmful to the fetus. In most western countries, however, total abstinence is recommended.


Over the last five years we have seen 64 infants and children with alcohol-related disorders. We present the clinical records of one alcohol-damaged child, and present the latest recommended categorisation of alcohol-related disorders in infants and children.


In our experience, some women with heavy alcohol consumption are allowed to continue their abuse without interference from health professionals. Children of women with moderate alcohol consumption may be seriously damaged. Updated research on pregnancy and alcohol that we have reviewed provide clear evidence that brain structure as well as brain function are affected by heavy prenatal alcohol exposure.


Use of alcohol in pregnancy, also in moderate amounts, is a serious risk factor for fetal damage. Therefore complete abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy should be recommended. For the alcohol-damaged children, early recognition and appropriate treatment will give the child a better opportunity for future optimal development.

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