Formerly known as MOFAS: Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Exciting News
from MOFAS

If you're looking for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) you have come to the right place. We have some exciting news about our organization. We have a new name! MOFAS has officially been renamed Proof Alliance. Our mission remains the same: to prevent prenatal alcohol exposure and to improve the quality of life for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

Why PR%F

We now have the proof that prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of brain injury in children. We have the proof that FASD is 100% preventable and people living with an FASD can reach 100% of their potential.

Why Alliance?

We seek to build powerful alliances with people with an FASD, their families, legislators, experts in the field, new partners, and community members to bring awareness, research, and services to this field.

What's Next?

Proof Alliance is rebranding, expanding, and we're moving! We have a new logo, website, and prevention campaign to help change the norms around drinking during pregnancy. And in May 2019 we will be moving to a stand-alone building. Proof Alliance commits to the people of Minnesota and we will continue to develop transformative programs to help Minnesotans impacted by FASD.

Busting the Myths about Drinking During Pregnancy

Busting the Myths about Drinking During Pregnancy PDF

Busting the myths about drinking during pregnancy

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).1 FASD refers to a range of effects including physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. Because there is no known amount of alcohol that can be considered safe during pregnancy, it is advised by all major medical associations, including the Centers for Disease Control2, the American Academy of Pediatrics3, and the U.S. Surgeon General4, that if a person is pregnant or could become pregnant, they should abstain from drinking alcohol. Despite this unwavering support from major medical associations, there are still many myths surrounding alcohol use during pregnancy.

Myth

Wine is a safe choice during pregnancy, especially if it’s only a few glasses here and there.

Fact

All types of alcohol – including wine, beer, hard cider, wine coolers, and hard liquor – contain chemicals known as teratogens that are harmful to fetal development.5 The safest choice is not to drink any type of alcohol during pregnancy.

Myth

Children outgrow any issues caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

Fact

Many of the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure cannot be cured and have lifelong implications. This includes permanent birth defects, brain injury, and/or disabilities.6-8 Although FASD cannot be cured, research suggests that early intervention and treatment can improve a child’s development and overall quality of life.9

Myth

FASD is only common in certain communities.

Fact

1 in 9 women drink alcohol at some point during their pregnancy10, and as many as 1 in 20 children in the United States have an FASD.11 FASD affects people from all ethnicities and all income levels.12

Myth

It’s safe to drink alcohol towards the end of the pregnancy.

Fact

The fetus develops at a rapid rate throughout the entire pregnancy.13 Most importantly, the brain is always developing, even after the baby is born.14 Because of this, the safest choice is to not drink any alcohol throughout the entire pregnancy, including the third trimester.

Myth

People who drink during pregnancy don’t care about their baby.

Fact

Prenatal alcohol exposure is a complex public health issue, and many factors may lead to an alcohol-exposed pregnancy:

  • Drinking alcohol before a pregnancy was known.
  • Unaware of or underestimated the risks associated with prenatal alcohol exposure.
  • Inaccurate information about the risks associated with prenatal alcohol exposure given by a healthcare provider.
  • Familiarity with another person who drank during pregnancy and their child has not been diagnosed with an FASD.
  • Having an alcohol use disorder.
  • Drinking alcohol is a socially acceptable norm.

Sources:

  1. Mattson SN, Crocker N, Nguyen TT. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: neuropsychological and behavioral features. Neuropsychol Rev. 2011;21(2):81-101.
  2. enters for Disease Control and Prevention. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP Says No Amount of Alcohol Should Be Considered Safe During Pregnancy. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Says-No-Amount-of-Alcohol-Should-be-Considered-Safe-During-Pregnancy.aspx
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notice to Readers: Surgeon General’s Advisory on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5409a6.htm
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol Use in Pregnancy. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html
  6. Rutman D. Becoming FASD Informed: Strengthening Practice and Programs Working with Women with FASD. Substance Abuse: Research & Treatment. 2016;10:13-20.
  7. Glass L, Mattson SN. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A Case Study. J Pediatr Neuropsychol. 2017;3(2):114-135.
  8. Treit et al. Longitudinal MRI reveals altered trajectory of brain development during childhood and adolescence in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Journal of Neuroscience. 2013;33(24):10098-109.
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatments. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/treatments.html#EarlyInterventionServices
  10. Denny CH, et al. Consumption of alcohol beverages and binge drinking among pregnant women aged 18-44 years — United States, 2015-2017. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2019;68(16):365-368.
  11. May et al. Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in 4 US Communities. JAMA. 2018; 319(5):474-482.
  12. May et al. Prevalence and Characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Pediatrics. 2014;134(5).
  13. MedlinePlus. Fetal Development. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002398.htm
  14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Early Brain Development and Health. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/early-brain-development.html

Last updated: May 2019

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