A six-month pilot will be launched by NHS Grampian next week highlighting the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
The health board says that alcohol intake for many is “considerably underestimated,” and can lead to children being born with health complications.
These include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which can affect their growth, their ability to learn and cause behavioural problems.
On Monday a new team will be installed at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital to provide confidential advice to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s alcohol intake during the pre-natal, antenatal and postnatal periods.
Lynn Cameron, NHS Grampian midwifery manager, said: “The development of the central nervous system, including brain growth, happens throughout the pregnancy, so there is no ‘safe’ time to drink alcohol.
“This is an incredibly timely initiative, because alcohol consumption has increased in Scotland over recent years.
“Although women generally continue to consume less alcohol than men, the increase in drinking means that women’s consumption is now approaching that of men.”
The specialist team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm by calling 07811 998 935 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A midwife clinic will also be held every Monday and Wednesday afternoon at the hospital for those wanting to discuss issues in person.