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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

What are Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person who was exposed to alcohol before birth. These effects can include physical problems as well as problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the most severe of these disorders.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to prevent FASDs, a woman should not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, or when she might get pregnant. This is because a woman could get pregnant and not know for up to 4 to 6 weeks. In the United States, nearly half of pregnancies are unplanned. If a woman is drinking alcohol during pregnancy, it is never too late to stop drinking. Because brain growth takes place throughout pregnancy, the sooner a woman stops drinking the safer it will be for her and her baby. FASDs are preventable if a baby is not exposed to alcohol before birth.