January is Fetal Impact of Substance Abuse Awareness Month

January is Fetal Impact of Substance Abuse Awareness Month

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are a spectrum of lifelong, debilitating health deficits, affecting roughly 2-5% of all school-aged children in the US. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), the most serious form of FASD, is a developmental disorder characterized by craniofacial deformities, growth retardation, and nervous system dysfunction that may include mental retardation. Other FASD categories include partial FAS, with facial and neurodevelopmental deficits of FAS but no apparent growth shortages; alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), with a neurobehavior deficit but no facial and physical features of FAS; and lastly alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD), where physical features of FAS are seen in the absence of the full condition.
Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (nih.gov)

Commit to Healthy Choices to Help Prevent Birth Defects
1. Plan ahead.
Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Folic acid is a B vitamin.
2. Avoid harmful substances.
Avoid alcohol at any time during pregnancy, avoid smoking cigarettes, avoid marijuana and other drugs.
3. Choose a healthy lifestyle.
Strive to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Talk with your healthcare provider.
Talk to a healthcare provider about taking any medications.
Source:  National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention