Last week, I wrote about a new study that more or less concluded that an occasional glass of wine...
Last week, I wrote about a new study that more or less concluded that an occasional glass of wine during pregnancy might be safe. I noted that even though the conclusion wasn't that women should go ahead and drink during their pregnancy, it still made me uncomfortable. Here's why: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a very serious condition that has lifelong implications for the children affected by it. FASD can cause physical problems as well as learning and behavior issues. The ONLY cause of FASD is drinking during pregnancy. The way to prevent FASD is to avoid drinking during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control very simply states the following:
FASDs are caused by a woman drinking alcohol during pregnancy. There is no known amount of alcohol that is safe to drink while pregnant. There is also no safe time to drink during pregnancy and no safe kind of alcohol to drink while pregnant. To prevent FASDs, a woman should not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, or even when she might get pregnant. This is because a woman could get pregnant and not know for several weeks or more. In the United States, half of pregnancies are unplanned
The information in this post may seem very boring and uncomplicated, but it needs to be discussed. Every year, babies are born with FASD. The numbers are unclear -- estimates range from .2 - 2 babies per 1,000 (live births) each year in the U.S. If you don't think that sounds like a lot, consider the fact that there are 4,058,000 live births each year in the U.S. That means that potentially, anywhere from 811 to 8,166 babies are born each year in the U.S. alone with a disease or disorder that is entirely preventable. If you're actively trying to conceive, or passively doing little to prevent conceiving, or if you know you're pregnant, think about the potential consequences of consuming alcohol. The CDC recommends the following two resources if you find that you don't want to drink but are having trouble stopping: Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locater Alcoholics Anonymous Later this week, I'll post a list of characteristics and behaviors that children with FASD display. Children affected by FASD have better outcomes when they are properly diagnosed and receive appropriate interventions.

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