How can fetal alcohol spectrum disorders be prevented? #403/15

Q:        What are the facts on pregnancy and drinking?                 

A:         Below are new facts from ARHP as a resource for couseling patients about pregnancy and alcohol consumption.  By clearly communicating the risks of drinking during pregnancy, you can help reduce the incidence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. 

In partnership with the ARC, ARHP is committed to increasing awareness on the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure.  Check out ARHP’s evidence-based resources on effective prevention strategies for health care providers.

  • Facts about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disroders clinical fact sheet
  • Preventing FASDs on-demand CME/CE webinar with Susan Astley, PhD
  • Clinical Minute CME/CE case study
  • Curriculem slide set in CORE (login required)
1 in 13 women say they drank alcohol while pregnant. 1 in 100 children in the US have an FASD.

When you drink alcohol while you are pregnant, you can hurt your baby’s brain, heart, kidneys, and other organs.  This can result in a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

Babies with FASDs may have trouble learning or controlling how they act.  They may have a low IQ or develop more slowly than other kids.

Think before you drink

  • There is no amount of alcohol that is proven to be safe to drink during pregnancy.
  • Beer and wine are just as harmful as hard liquor.
  • Alcohol can be harmful at all stages of a pregnancy – even before you know you’re pregnant.
  • If you have drunk alcohol during your pregnancy, it is never too late to stop. Talk to your health care provider.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you are worried about how much you drink, even if you are not pregnant.
  • Birth control can help you avoid getting pregnant until you are ready.
Ask yourself (?)

□  Have I ever felt the need to cut down on my drinking?

□  Do I get annoyed when people complain abut my drinking?

□  Do I ever feel guilty about my drinking?

 

If you answered YES to 2 or more of these questions, you may need to limit your drinking.

Find support  (i)

There are lots of resources to help you limit or stop drinking alcohol.

·         Talk to your heath care provider about steps you can take to change your drinking habits.

·         Visit these websites to learn more:

1.       Rethink Drinking ((NIAAA) rethinkingdrinkingniaaa.nih.gov

2.    Easy-to-read Drug Facts (NIH) www.easyread.drugabuse.gov/alcoholfacts.php    

Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Emory University School of Medicine

Atlanta, GA

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of all available contraceptive methods, go to: www.managingcontraception.com.   You can order all of these books listed below from our website or by calling 404-875-5001. 

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