A number of Councils across Greater Manchester are supporting the Drymester campaign, a programme designed to prevent expecting mothers from drinking alcohol during their pregnancy by offering them support through to full term.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is known to cause several birth defects, with the campaign aiming to dispel misconceptions around drinking alcohol during pregnancy to avoid unnecessary complications postnatally.
One misconception that the scheme aims to dispel relates to alcohol being drank in moderation or only at certain points during the pregnancy, the campaign reiterates that there is no safe time to drink alcohol when pregnant.
By supporting campaigns like this, it is hoped that lifelong conditions related to consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, referred to collectively as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, will be lessened and therefore the costs of social and medical care will be reduced significantly during a person’s lifetime.
The Drymester scheme was launched by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership last year, with £1.6m being put into the pilot scheme. Councils across Greater Manchester have issued renewed support of the scheme in the run-up to Christmas which is a difficult time for expectant mothers to avoid drinking socially.
One Council offering their support is Bury Council, Lesley Jones, Bury’s director of public health, said:
“The harm caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy can become a lifelong issue for our children with an increased risk of disabilities.
“It is so important not to drink alcohol during this time and this campaign is a great opportunity to go alcohol free. You could even ask your partner, family or friends to support you and they can go dry too. There is a lot of support available.”