Alcohol-Related Birth Defects:
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and Fetal Alcohol Effects
Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading cause of mental retardation in children.
Much of the damage from alcohol is done before the mother is even aware of her pregnancy. No one knows exactly how much alcohol can harm your baby. It's safest to not use any. Babies don't metabolize alcohol as well as adults do, so the alcohol a pregnant woman drinks has a greater effect on her baby than on her.
Although facial abnormalities are a key aspect of FAS, they are not always present and are only one component of alcohol-related birth defects. A child's physical, mental, and behavioral development are all at risk when a pregnant woman drinks.
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome "Better Safe Than Sorry" Curriculum Slides and Videos Online
(View Alcohol-Related Birth Defects Slideshow)
- U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy
- UNC Scientist Leads Bowles Center Efforts to Prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Center Line, Vol. 13, No 3, 2002)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- NIAAA Alcohol Alert on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS)
- FASD Center for Excellence
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Drinking and Your Pregnancy, from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism