FASD Awareness Day is September 9th

FASD Awareness Day is September 9th
Alcohol is now recognized as the leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disorders in the United States. Each year thousands of children are born with life-long disabilities because they were exposed to alcohol prenatally. On September 9th, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recognizes International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day as a reminder that there is no “safe” level of drinking while pregnant. First recognized in 1999, International FASD Awareness Day helps raise awareness about the range of conditions that can result from alcohol use during pregnancy. Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 8 women drinks during her pregnancy, putting her child at risk for a variety of issues including low IQ, learning disabilities, speech and language delays, behavioral problems, vision and hearing problems, and problems with vital organs, among others. Alcohol can damage the...
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NIH Releases Improved Guidelines for Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

NIH Releases Improved Guidelines for Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
A group of experts on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), organized by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and has produced proposed clinical guidelines for diagnosing FASD, which can result when a mother drinks during pregnancy. The new guidelines clarify and expand upon widely used guidelines issued in 2005, which were the first to help clinicians distinguish among the four distinct subtypes of FASD described by the Institute of Medicine. The updated guidelines, developed over one year by a cadre of experts in the field, are based on analysis of 10,000 individuals involved in studies of prenatal alcohol exposure funded by NIAAA, part of the National Institutes of Health. The proposed guidelines include a new definition of documented prenatal alcohol exposure, guides to evaluating facial and physical deformities characteristic of FASD, and updated information about the cognitive and/or behavioral impairments seen in different FASD subtypes. The updated...
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The Opioid Epidemic’s Toll on Pregnant Women and Their Babies

The Opioid Epidemic’s Toll on Pregnant Women and Their Babies
The risk for overdose from opioid painkillers and heroin among women, including pregnant women, has skyrocketed, which means a growing number of babies are born dependent on opioids. In a special report, PBS NewsHour Weekend Special correspondent Alison Stewart reported on the challenges for pregnant women struggling with addiction. The full interview is available online by clicking here. Miss Stewart interviewed several women, healthcare providers, and a reknowned researcher on the opioid epidemic overtaking the USA and its toll on pregnant women and their babies The risk for overdose from opioid painkillers and heroin among women, including pregnant women, has skyrocketed, which means a growing number of babies are born dependent on opioids. In her report, Miss Stewart noted that each year between 2008 and 2012, on average, more than one-quarter of reproductive age women with private insurance — and more than one-third of those enrolled in Medicaid — filled...
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Over 400 Diseases May Co-Occur in People With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Over 400 Diseases May Co-Occur in People With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Researchers have identified more than 400 diseases that can co-occur in people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The findings reinforce that alcohol can affect any organ or system in the developing fetus, the researchers note. “We’ve systematically identified numerous disease conditions co-occurring with FASD, which underscores the fact that it isn’t safe to drink any amount or type of alcohol at any stage of pregnancy, despite the conflicting messages the public may hear,” lead researcher Dr. Lana Popova of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto noted in a news release. FASD is a term that describes the range of disabilities that can occur in people as a result of alcohol exposure before birth, according to News-Medical.net. Symptoms and their severity can vary, based on how much and when the mother consumed alcohol. Other factors are also involved, including the mother’s stress levels, nutrition and environmental influences,...
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No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe for Expecting Moms

No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe for Expecting Moms
The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that no amount of alcohol should be viewed as safe throughout pregnancy and called exposure to prenatal alcohol the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual disabilities in children, Today.com reports. In a report published in the journal Pediatrics, the Academy underscored that drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a group of conditions that can occur in a child whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy and that drinking-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are avoidable through abstentions. The Academy noted that prenatal alcohol exposure is linked to higher incidences of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities, such as problems with math and language, memory skills and impulse control. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are also linked to numerous conditions that can include physical, emotional, behavioral and learning problems and can range from mild to severe. The most serious type, fetal...
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