On September 9, 1999, the first International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) Awareness Day was observed. This day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol.
Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which are physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities that last a lifetime. Often, a person with an FASD has a combination of these problems. It is recommended that women who are pregnant or might become pregnant not drink alcohol. FASDs are completely preventable if a developing baby is not exposed to alcohol before birth.
What Is Known about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Women who are pregnant or who might be pregnant should be aware that any level of alcohol use could harm their babies.
- All types of alcohol can be harmful, including all wine and beer.
- The baby’s brain, body, and organs are developing throughout pregnancy and can be affected by alcohol at any time.
- Alcohol use during pregnancy can also increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm (early) birth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- A developing baby is exposed to the same concentration of alcohol as a pregnant woman.
- The rates of FASDs are estimated to be comparable to the rates of Autism. Up to 1 in 20 U.S. schoolchildren may have FASDs.
- FASDs-related disorders last a lifetime.
Make a plan for a healthy baby–don’t drink any alcohol if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It’s estimated that half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned and that a woman may not realize she is pregnant up to 4 to 6 weeks in pregnancy and exposes her baby to alcohol before she knows she is pregnant.
If you become pregnant, stop drinking alcohol. Every day matters. The sooner you stop drinking, the better for your baby. If you need help stopping, talk to your doctor, or contact an addiction treatment agency/recovery program.
Florida Center for Recovery offers specialized alcohol detox and addiction treatment programs for pregnant women. If you would like more information call: 800-851-3291 You may also chat with us through our website page, or e-mail us for quick answers to your questions. There’s no obligation and your call is completely confidential.
Addiction Treatment for Women