Expectant mothers are being warned about the dangers of consuming alcohol when pregnant amid a reported rise in the number of babies born with brain damage associated with drink.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is said to be on the rise with an increase in cases and an increase in women of child-bearing age who are drinking heavily.
FASD can result in a wide range of defects, from facial disfigurements to lower IQ and personality disorders.
Sheila Sambrook, of the Aberdeen City FASD Support Group, said it was essential that women knew the risks.
She said middle class women and wine drinkers were of particular concern.
Ms Sambrook said: “More children are being diagnosed. There is a general increase in the people drinking and there is an increase in the strength of some drinks, like wine.
“You get a lot of middle class women, those who are trying to conceive and may not know they are pregnant, who coming in from work and having a glass of wine.
“It is really important that women are aware that exposure to alcohol at any point during pregnancy can increase the risk of FASD.
“Our message is that if you are pregnant or are trying to conceive, then stay away from alcohol.
“You are only pregnant for nine months, but it can lead to a lifetime of difficulty.”
The support group will be campaigning in the Trinity Centre in Aberdeen today between 11am and 3pm as part of a worldwide awareness day.
The Aberdeen FASD Support Group meets on the first Monday of each month at 10am.
For more information contact Sheila Sambrook on Aberdeenfasd@hotmail.com.