Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disoder (FASD) NO Alcohol NO Risk!!

As most of my readers are aware I am the founder of Recovery Mummy, one of the things I offer is a play support group where the parents can get peer support and advice on living a healthy life in recovery. The great thing about play support is that babies and tots can come along and take part in sensory games, arts  and crafts whilst the parents receive valuable peer support.

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I have been taking part in lots of training associated with the work I am doing and one of the courses I recently took part in was Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Training… Prenatal Damage and the Life Long Effects.

I sat down to begin training and it struck me…I actually didn’t have a clue about FASD!! I mean I knew that some babies were born with the condition and that babies would have withdrawal symptoms and needed to be monitored but I didn’t realise that it was a life long disorder. I thought that once the withdrawal symptoms had gone the baby would be fine…Yep I cant believe how naïve I was until I did awareness training.

New guidelines state that women  are to avoid alcohol in pregnancy but If they do choose to drink, to minimise risk to the baby, the government’s advice is to not have more than one to two units of alcohol once or twice a week, and not to get drunk.

A few years back doctors and midwives would recommend pregnant women with low iron levels to drink Guinness and drink red wine for antioxidants.

When someone drinks alcohol it is filtered though the liver, it depends on the individuals body type and weight  how long this takes however on average if you drink a large (250ml) glass of wine, your body takes about three hours to break down the alcohol.

An unborn baby has no functioning liver so they cant filter it themselves, it is thought that the unborn foetus lays in the alcohol fluid for 3 days.

Imagine the foetus as a raw egg…below is a picture of a raw egg in water (L)  and another in Vodka (R)…after only 7 hours in the vodka the egg in Vodka has began to cook its self…now imagine it after 3days in the vodka.

egg vod

What is Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder??

FASD’S are mental, physical and neurobehavioral impairments caused by women drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

  • Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the leading known cause of 
learning disability.
  • FASD and other alcohol-related birth defects are 100% preventable if a woman doesn’t drink during pregnancy.
  • FASD can cause serious social and behavioural problems.
  • Alcohol can cause more damage to an unborn baby than any other drug.
  • There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.


FASD is an umbrella term that covers Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD), Foetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) and partial Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS). Its effects range from reduced intellectual ability and Attention Deficit Disorder to heart problems.

FASD may not be detected at birth but can become apparent later in life and carries lifelong implications

A child can not be affected by FASD if the mother didn’t drink during pregnancy.

FASD Characteristics

Invisible characteristics

  • Attention and memory deficits
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty with abstract concepts (eg maths, time and money)
  • Confused social skills
  • Poor problem solving skills
  • Difficulty learning from consequences
  • Poor judgement
  • Immature behaviour
  • Poor impulse control

Physical effects

  • Smaller head circumference
  • Heart problems
  • Limb damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Damage to the structure of the brain
  • Eye problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Specific facial characteristics, including a flat nasal bridge, upturned nose, thin upper lip and smooth philtrum (the vertical groove between the upper lip and nose)

There are 428 conditions associated with FASD.

Of all the FASD disorders FAS is the most recognisable…

FAS is characterised by the following anomalies

  • Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction
  • Facia dysmorphology
  • Pre- and  post-natal growth deficiency

Below is an example of a doll with FAS:


Below is a chart of foetal development. As you can see it is never safe to drink alcohol during any stage of pregnancy.


Many cases of FASD go unnoticed as mothers are not asked about their alcohol consumption before finding out they are pregnant. Most women find that they are pregnant when they are around 4 weeks gone. So what if the mother went on a drinking binge not realising she was pregnant? Mothers are not asked about the weeks before so no record would be made of it thus making it harder to diagnose FASD later in the child’s life.

So as you can see FASD is more common than we think, FASD is a life long disability that requires on going care and understanding.

Its shocking to think that most health professionals don’t know much about it and therefore many infants, toddlers, adolescence and adults affected by FASD live in a world without support. I was also shocked to find out, that of all pregnant women, on average, the most educated women are those found to be drinking during pregnancy.

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My Child Has Asthma!! Advice and Facts

Imagine being paralysed by fear as you struggle to breathe, unable to speak, unable to ask for help. That’s what an asthma attack feels like.

My 3 year old son and I have Asthma, I was diagnosed at 23 although there is a strong family history of Asthma in my family mine was never picked up on . I do remember struggling at sports in school and always making an excuse to skip the lesson as I knew when I ran I would get out of breath to quickly and this would cause a panic attack (or so I thought)

After I started to be treated for asthma I began to exercise and now I am a fitness enthusiast. I take Seretide (purple inhaler)and have recently been put on montelukast tablets, I always keep a Ventolin on me.


The main symptoms of asthma are:

  • wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
  • shortness of breath
  • a tight chest – which may feel like a band is tightening around it
  • coughing

Children, parents and asthma

  • One in 11 children has asthma and it is the most common long-term medical condition.
  • On average there are three children with asthma in every classroom in the UK.
  • The UK has among the highest prevalence rates of asthma symptoms in children worldwide.
  • Asthma attacks hospitalise someone every 8 minutes; 185 people are admitted to hospital because of asthma attacks every day in the UK (a child is admitted to hospital every 20 minutes because of an asthma attack).

My son has recently been diagnosed with  Asthma, he started to show symptoms around 18 months. He would get of breath quickly at soft play and then start to cough, occasionally he would be sick with the coughing. Around this time I mentioned it to my doctor who said lets kept an eye on it. By the time he was 2.5 years he was waking most nights coughing to the point of being sick, he was getting extremely short of breath when he was unwell. He then had a chest infection this is when the doctor put him on ventolin (Blue inhalor) At age 3 my son was put on Clenil (brown inhaler) to which he takes twice a day we use a child’s spacer.


My sons asthma is under control now and we have regular appointments with our asthma nurse.

There are many factors that can trigger an asthma attack, they can be found here

You’re having an asthma attack if any of the following happens:

  • Your reliever isn’t helping or lasting over four hours
  • Your symptoms are getting worse (cough, breathlessness, wheeze or tight chest)
  • You’re too breathless or it’s difficult to speak, eat or sleep
  • Your breathing is getting faster and it feels like you can’t get your breath in properly
  • Children may complain of a tummy ache.

Don’t be afraid of causing a fuss, even at night.

What to do in an asthma attack

The following guidelines are suitable for both children and adults and are the recommended steps to follow in an asthma attack:

  1. Sit up straight – don’t lie down. Try to keep calm.
  2. Take one puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every 30-60 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 puffs.
  3. If you feel worse at any point while you’re using your inhaler or you don’t feel better after 10 puffs or you’re worried at any time, call 999 for an ambulance.
  4. If the ambulance is taking longer than 15 minutes you can repeat step 2.

For more information please go to

You can also call Asthma Uk Helpline on 0300 222 5800 (Mon – Fri; 9am-5pm) to speak to an asthma nurse specialist

If you think you or your child has asthma don’t dely…Book an appointment today!

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New Year, New You..Gym & Junior

So its 2016 and most of you I’m sure have set yourself some New Year goals. The usual ones are giving up smoking, making more time for family, losing weight and getting more active.

Getting out and about is easy but what if you want to start using a gym or start having fitness classes for motivation when you have young children

Gym and Junior is the answer!!

Gym and Junior is a Gym located above Café Junior on Fanny Street in Cathay’s. The Gym is well equipped with modern equipment which include exercise bikes, rowing machines, treadmills, cross trainers a punching bag, ropes and a weight training area.

Gym and Junior is like no other Gym, its in a relaxed environment with no wall mirrors so you really can feel at ease. Gym and junior also have a child-friendly shower and changing room.

The added bonus of Gym and Junior is the play-zone for your little ones. The play-zone is in eyes view and there is a gym worker on hand to keep an eye on your children too. There is also fitness equipment for children age 4-8 years to use.

With your gym membership you can take advantage of

  • Gym use
  • FREE unlimited gym classes
  • FREE induction
  • Regular members-only events
  • Small group classes
  • A play area within the gym if you’d like to bring children (but you don’t have to have kids to join!)
  • Supervised play sessions for the kids
  • A wash and blow dry at Funky Little Chickens
  • Offers and discounted rates with partner organisations


Fitness classes include Pilates, Zumba, Boxercise and Leg Bums and Tums. A full list of classes can be found on the website below

So start 2016 off the healthy way and check out Gym and Junior.

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