Did you know that the month of September is recognized as International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness (FASD) month? We’ve all been told that consuming alcohol during pregnancy can adversely impact the unborn fetus. In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office first issued the warning back in July 1981.
Our guest blogger for the month is Glenda Knight, MA, Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. Glenda is the manager for our local Project LINK. She has more than 25-years of experience working with military families, homeless women, and those with behavioral health conditions. For the past eight years, Glenda has specialized in substance abuse services for women with an emphasis on pregnancy and postpartum.
In her first blog this month, she explained what FASD is. In this week’s post, she discusses risk factors for this disorder.
What are the risk factors for FASD?
There is the misconception that women who deliver infants and children impacted by FAS and FASD are alcoholics.
Any woman who drinks alcohol during pregnancy is at risk of having a child with FAS or FASD. Women who are social drinkers or binge drinks are at risk of delivering an infant impacted by FASD.
The Center for Disease Control defines binge drinking for women as having four (4) or more drinks on a single occasion (CDC, 2013). Additionally, 1 in 8 women in the United States binge drink at least three (3) times per month (CDC, 2013).
However, it is important to note that during the first or second month of pregnancy, many women are not aware of the fact that they are pregnant and might unwittingly consume alcohol. Many women will cease drinking once they have learned that they are pregnant. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH, 2013) reported that 9.4% of pregnant females 14 to 44 years old used alcohol during pregnancy, 2.3 percent reported binge drinking during pregnancy, and 0.4 percent reported heavy drinking during the pregnancy (SAMSHA, 2013).
If you have concerns about your child’s development, we would love to be a part of your team! Remember, Babies Can’t Wait! Contact Project Link or the Parent Education –Infant Development Program of the RACSB: http://www.racsb.state.va.us/