Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - A midwife at the Ghana Police Hospital, Inspector Cecilia Efua Arthur, has cautioned expectant mothers against the intake of energy drinks during pregnancy since most of them contained caffeine which could cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
She explained that since caffeine was a stimulant, it increased blood pressure and heart beat (palpitation), both of which were dangerous during pregnancy.
She added that caffeine also increased the frequency of urination and caused reduction in the body fluid levels, which could lead to dehydration.
Inspector Arthur who made this known on the sidelines of a sensitisation programme on ‘alcohol intake during pregnancy’ at the Ghana Police Hospital, in Accra, on Tuesday, said any amount of caffeine in the system of an expectant woman could cause changes in the baby’s sleep pattern or normal movement pattern in the later stages of pregnancy.
The sensitisation programme, organised by the Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) in collaboration with the GIZ, a German development agency, was to commemorate Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASDs) Awareness Day, which is marked on September 9, each year.
The midwife also explained that there was no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant.
Inspector Arthur said FASDs were a group of health conditions that could occur in persons whose mothers took to drinking during pregnancy.
She said, babies with FASD tended to have facial, organs and brain defects, and could possibly cause hearing and visual impairment.
Touching on the negative impact of alcohol intake during pregnancy, she added that excessive consumption of alcohol during pregnancy could permanently damage the cells of the growing foetus.
“All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all alcoholic wines and beer. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her baby,” she said.
She, therefore, advised pregnant women who experienced uncomfortable feelings to abstain from alcohol and rather drink fruit juices and eat vegetables.
The programme formed part of a week-long sensitisation programme organised by the ABL.
The event, which was held at the Police Hospital this year, was the 15th of its kind organised in five health facilities since its inception a year ago.
Over 2,000 women at the Ridge Hospital, the Kaneshie Polyclinic, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana Police and the 37 Military hospitals, all in Accra, were educated on the risk associated with alcohol consumption.
Commenting on the initiative, the Corporate and Legal Affairs Director of ABL, Ms Adjoba Kyiamah explained that the company decided to extend the sensitisation programme after it commemorated the FASDs Day on September 9, last year.
Over the years, she said, the ABL had addressed societal challenges locally in partnership with stakeholders through various sustainable development initiatives especially, in the area of health and education.
She added that the company was enjoined by its sustainable development goals to ensure that its alcoholic products were developed and consumed responsibly.
Ms Kyiamah said the effort was to minimise the unwanted effects of alcohol on the unborn child as part of the company’s on-going efforts to engage its stakeholders to collectively address and promote responsible drinking.
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