A consultant gynaecologist, Dr Oliver Ezechi, has asked expectant mothers against drinking coffee and alcohol “to prevent birth defects”.

Ezechi, who is also a medical researcher at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, told NAN that exposure to alcoholic beverages during pregnancy could damage the unborn baby’s brain and affect the child’s behaviour and general development.

Coffee is not safe in pregnancy, he said, because it contains some stimulants which are vaso-constrictors which reduce blood supply to the baby. So, it’s not safe in pregnancy.

He added: “Alomo Bitters, all those bitters, are popular in the motor parks because of their  alcohol content; and in most of the herbs, they use alcohol to extract them.

“And usually, what is done in western medicine, even if you use alcohol as extractor, when you finish you also reduce the content of the herbs.

“So, what makes some of these things attractive is the historic effect caused by the alcohol contained in them.

“That is why some of the cough syrups are not available in the market because some of them contain either alcohol or something that will make you high and that’s what makes them very popular.

“But, the truth about it is that no woman should take anything alcohol or which the content is not completely written.

“Stout contains alcohol; the alcohol content of Stout is even higher than the one in beer; so, it’s not safe in pregnancy.”



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