As health professionals try to work out exactly how much alcohol can be consumed before a baby is potentially damaged, and conduct studies on the effects alcohol during pregnancy has on children as they grow older, it appears that the message that alcohol should not be drunk during pregnancy is not getting through.
19-year-old Holly Piggott is five months pregnant, yet admits to going out drinking five days per week. She doesn’t even limit her alcohol intake, consuming around 32 units – double the amount recommended for non-pregnant females.
Holly says she will drink until her bump starts to show, and she can’t fit into her size 12 dresses – then she’ll simply continue drinking from home.
She also revealed that her boyfriend doesn’t know she is drinking, as she blames hangovers on morning sickness, and the need for greasy food on eating for two.
“If I throw up, I can say it’s the baby. And when I go to the cafe for a fry-up I say its because I’m eating for two.”
Asked what her parents thought, she admitted her mother thought she was ‘selfish’, but justified her behaviour by saying; “I’m not an idiot, I know I might be doing my baby harm. I’m young and I don’t feel ready to stop my life. I’m trying to get the most out of it while I can. When I can’t fit into my size 12 dresses anymore, I’ll stop.”
The National Organization for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome say that figures show four per cent of women do not change their drinking habits at all during pregnancy, and a spokesperson said that those who do not ‘are playing Russian Roulette with their babies’ lives’.
Holly has told her story to celebrity gossip magazine Closer, and newspaper the Metro.