“Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. No safe TIME. No safe AMOUNT. No safe alcohol. Period.” - NOFAS
FASDs is an umbrella term for a range of effects that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems, and problems with behavior and learning. Often, people with FASDs have a mix of these problems. These effects are lifelong and children do not grow out of them.
- CHOICES: An evidenced-based program for women who are not pregnant (but could become pregnant) and who are drinking alcohol at risky levels
- Identification: How to Recognize FASD
- International FASD Awareness Month/Day: September 9th
- Prevention: Talking About Alcohol During Pregnancy
- Tips for Educators
No amount of alcohol consumption can be considered safe during pregnancy. Alcohol consumed during pregnancy increases the risk of alcohol related birth defects, including growth deficiencies (or decreased growth), facial abnormalities (specific facial features), central nervous system impairment (or brain), behavioral disorders, and impaired intellectual development.
“Of all of the substance of abuse, alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus.” Institute of Medicine’s 1996 Report to Congress
THE BRAIN is highly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol at all stages of pregnancy. There is no safe TIME, no safe AMOUNT of alcohol if a woman is pregnant or might become pregnant. This is because a woman could get pregnant and not know for up to 4 to 6 weeks. Many women stop drinking as soon as they learn of their pregnancy, but early alcohol exposure can damage the fetus’ developing brain without a woman even knowing she is pregnant.
ALL TYPES OF ALCOHOL ARE EQUALLY HARMFUL, including all wines, beer and other flavored malt beverages and spirits. Alcohol in the mother’s blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities.
IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO STOP DRINKING if a woman is drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Brain growth takes place throughout pregnancy, so the sooner a woman stops drinking, the safer it will be for her and her baby. If you are pregnant and trying to stop drinking, resources are available.
The New Vista Regional Prevention Center is an affiliate of the National Organization of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (NOFAS)