Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)


Many women are unaware of the consequences of drinking during pregnancy. When a pregnant woman drinks any alcohol, such as beer, wine, or mixed drinks, so does her baby. Alcohol passes through the placenta right into the developing baby. The baby may suffer lifelong damage as a result. If you are pregnant or have been drinking you need to STOP and tell your doctor immediately.

Brief Interventions

The obvious approach to lessen the severity of the disability is intervening with the pregnant mom. Screening and Brief Clinical Interventions are often delivered as part of clinical care visits. Effective brief interventions to reduce alcohol misuse include: assessment, advice, agreement on goals, assistance to stop drinking and arrangement of follow up or referral for additional assistance. The National Center for Education in Maternal Child Health has produced a set of guidelines for screening for a substance abuse problem during pregnancy. The guidelines can be found at http://ncemch.org/NCEMCH-publications/SubAbuse.pdf.

Parent and Child Assistance Programs (P-CAP) and Project Choices are both recommended through the FASD Center for Learning Excellence and considered research based interventions in reducing risk behaviors in women with substance abuse problems. http://www.fascenter.samhsa.gov

Podcast: Screening and Brief Intervention for Women