Pregnant women urged not to drink

Leader of Langa Educare Forum, Nosipho Tshabane, said they felt that it was important to raise an awareness about this condition. She urged parents not to drink while pregnant.

Don’t drink while pregnant because you could ruin your unborn child’s life.

This was among the messages written on placards when the Langa Educare Forum held a peaceful picket opposite the Langa taxi rank in an effort to raise awareness about International Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Day on Monday September 11.

The annual awareness day is marked on September 9 around the world.

The forum, which represents 27 crèches around Langa, said they felt that it was crucial that they add their voice to the fight against foetal alcohol syndrome.

Kids from different educare centres held placards pleading with parents not to drink while pregnant and sang emotional songs.

Leader of Langa Educare Forum, Nosipho Tshabane, said teachers often encountered children with this condition, and were well-placed to identify children with FAS.

She said some of the symptoms children with FAS exhibited, included learning difficulties and stunted growth.

She said it was a harsh reality that it was often young mothers who drank while pregnant and emphasised the importance of raising awareness of FAS all year round.

Ms Tshabane said anything a pregnant woman drank, her baby drank as well and that alcohol harmed unborn babies.

“We should be better mothers to our children. This has to end. We can’t put the lives of children at risk. We should be their protectors. We need healthy unborn babies. Children who have this condition will have learning struggles,” she said.

Olwethu Mxhamli who works as a facilitator at the Early Years Services based in Athlone, said they were appealing to parents to give their children a fair chance in life and that alcohol destroyed the lives of children before they were even born.

Creche teacher Nolubabalo Tshamlambo said they were also using the picket to make parents aware of the recent spate of child abductions. “We all have the responsibility of making the lives our kids better. We should not have a situation whereby kids blame us for ruining their precious future,” she said.