TO mark Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders Awareness last month, Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP) are hoping to inform more people about the condition.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is a collection of life-long conditions which are the result of consuming alcohol during pregnancy.

The ADP is a Borders based group that works with young people and adults with drug and alcohol problems. They're supported by the Government, the Police and the Scottish Drugs Forum.

A spokesperson from the Borders ADP told us: "Part of this process is to raise awareness that alcohol and pregnancy don't mix.

"We provide training for midwives and health visitors to support mothers and their families and we go into schools and run sessions for teenagers."

When a child is born with FASD it can cause multiple health complications. NHS Borders paediatrician, Jeremy Fellick explained that the disorders are very variable: "There’s a spectrum of disorders. Some children have physical difficulties with characteristic facial features, poor growth and occasional cardiac problems.

"Most of what we see though relates to brain function, for example people can have problems with learning, communication, social skills and ADHD."

The statistics on the prevalence of FASD aren't concrete. Dr Fellick revealed: "We don’t truly know; the UK estimate is 3-5 per cent.

"It can be described as an iceberg condition; we only see the tip of the iceberg but there's so much we can’t see under the water.

"I can’t stress enough, it’s massively underdiagnosed."

Further issues can come if your pregnancy was unplanned, you didn't know you were pregnant until several weeks had passed or if you experienced a cryptic pregnancy.

We asked Dr Fellick what advice he has for mothers and their families to avoid the preventable complications of FASD: "The starting point for society is to get onboard with the idea that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix.

"I don’t think it would be unreasonable to ask a dad or partner to stop drinking as well, to support the mother who’s been told the same."

More information about FASD and alcohol and pregnancy, visit