Rachel Weisz, 35-year-old Oscar winning actress who recently gave birth to her first child, ignited the controversy by saying ‘its fine’ for expectant mothers to have a glass of wine after the first three months. I mean in Europe they drink it.’ She believes that it is acceptable for pregnant women to drink alcohol.
She expressed her views during the promotion of her latest movie ‘The Fountain’. She was immediately criticized by medical experts and depicts her as ‘ill-informed’ and ‘dangerous.’
Foetal alcohol syndrome specialist Dr Raja Mukherjee, of St George’s Hospital Medical School in London, said:
If Rachel Weisz has drunk during her pregnancy and the baby is fine then that’s just pure luck. The problem is that you don’t know who is at risk and who is not. There is a risk throughout your whole pregnancy. There is potential harm to the unborn baby’s brain at any point and that is fact.
According to current UK guidelines, pregnant women can drink one or two units – equivalent to one or two small glasses of wine or single measures of spirit, once or twice a week. However, experts had warned that even very small amount of alcohol results in Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which can lead to learning difficulties, poor co-ordination and attention deficit disorder. Now government is reviewing guidelines on the controversy.
Sharon Fleisher, founder of the National Organization of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, said:
Damage to a foetus can be caused throughout the whole nine months of pregnancy. I think that the comment that she made is dangerous. It is very irresponsible because she is not an expert and she doesn’t know the full effects alcohol can have on an unborn child. She is also wrong about Europe because as of October 2007, France is putting warning labels on all stock in the shops.
Keeping aside social norms and lifestyles, and sticking to medical science, I feel it is not wise for any celebrity to favor alcohol consumption and when the case here is of pregnancy, it’s better to shun it once for all.