In recognition of April, Alcohol Awareness Month, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) has introduced new educational guidelines, in English and Spanish, on the consequences of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The Facts for Families on Drinking Alcohol in Pregnancy (Fetal Alcohol Effects) outlines symptoms of the disorder and warning signs of alcohol abuse.
Pregnant women should not drink any alcohol at any point during their pregnancy.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a major cause of mental retardation and birth defects.* Fetal alcohol effects are present in more than one in 100 live births or as many as 40,000 infants each year. In addition to developmental delays, children born with fetal alcohol effects have a higher incidence of behavioral problems, including conduct disorder, depression, and attentional disorders.
“Pregnant women should not drink alcohol, period. This is a disorder that is wholly preventable and there is no justification for the risk.” said AACAP President Thomas F. Anders, M.D. “The key to preventing fetal alcohol effects is increasing public understanding of how debilitating this condition is.”
A child is diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) if the child was exposed to alcohol prenatally and has facial deformities, slow or delayed growth, or brain and neurological problems. Fetal alcohol syndrome should be diagnosed by an appropriately trained physician like a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Pregnant Women Told Not To Drink At All