Cause of FASD
FASD is caused by a woman drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Alcohol is a teratogen (an agent that alters the normal development of a fetus) and is considered more damaging than other drugs. It crosses the placenta, destroying brain cells and causing lifelong impairments. (See video here.)
A significant amount of damage can occur during the first trimester when the frontal lobe is developing (responsible for higher brain function), even if women are unaware they are pregnant.
The majority of women are unaware of pregnancy until the sixth to eighth week.
Research indicates 50% of pregnancies are unplanned
There is no known amount of alcohol or safe time to drink during pregnancy.
Today, one in eight pregnant women in the US report alcohol use in the past 30 days. One in 50 have reported binge drinking in the past 30 days (four or more drinks at one time).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% preventable.