Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) affect nearly 40,000 babies every year, according to experts. Today (Sept. 9) is FASD Awareness Day, and September is FASD Awareness Month, a time to educate and encourage pregnant women to not drink alcohol during pregnancy.

What is FASD?

This term refers to the range of effects that can occur in a person who is exposed to alcohol while in the womb. These effects can be physical, mental, behavioral, as well as learning disabilities, and they have long-term, even life-long, implications. Any woman who drinks alcohol during pregnancy puts her unborn at risk for FASD. Therefore, abstaining from alcoholic beverages while pregnant is the only way to prevent FASD happening to your baby. When a pregnant woman drinks, so does her unborn. A developing baby’s organs are not fully formed, therefore, it can’t process alcohol like the mother, or any other adult. Alcohol stops the baby from getting the oxygen it needs for its brain to develop normally.