Question? Just Ask!
Health care providers are invited to submit questions to our FASD professionals about FASD prevention.
Q: As a professional in the field, I hear too many stories of women who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant who think that an occasional drink will not harm their baby. But I know that no amount of alcohol is safe. What should health care providers be telling their patients to help them understand this fact?
A: The most important statistic to remember about FASD is that it is 100% preventable. Any woman of childbearing age is at risk of having a child with an FASD if she consumes alcohol during pregnancy. It is important for every health care professional working with women of child-bearing age to be able to give their patients accurate information. Here are a few facts:
- Alcohol can harm a fetus at any time, even during the earliest weeks following conception.
- In the United States, the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND), and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD) combined is at least 10 per 1,000, or 1 percent of all births.
- FASD affects at least 40,000 newborns each year. However, data on FASD is limited due to lack of diagnostic criteria, therefore it is believed children and adults with FASD are under-counted.
While some studies argue against a strong correlation between children born with FASD and drinking, it is important to note the following:
As a health care provider, you may be your patient’s only trustworthy source for information on the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure. By knowing the facts you have the opportunity to change a child and family’s life.