Article: Have a Healthy, FASD-Free Baby

You Can Prevent FASD: Here’s How

Being responsible for the life of the baby inside of you can be a lot of pressure. We’re not here to add to that. We’re here to help you feel confident and empowered to have the healthiest baby possible. Knowing all the facts about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) before you get pregnant puts you firmly in the driver’s seat.

FASD is a birth defect caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol that has the potential to cause brain damage, depression, and delayed developmental skills.

Here are some to prepare your body so you can have a healthy, FASD-free baby

  1. Schedule an appointment with your doctor, midwife, or healthcare provider. If you’re on any medications, they can tell you which ones will or will not affect the health of your baby. They can also offer safer treatment options for the meds you can’t take.
  2. Do not drink alcohol. Exposing a fetus to any amount of alcohol is unsafe. We can help you with things like tracking your ovulation cycle so you can choose to abstain from sex while drinking or use contraceptives to avoid prenatal exposure to alcohol.
  3. If this sounds difficult, you are not alone. A lot of people have difficulty with not drinking. There are lots of resources both here and in your community.
  4. None of this is meant to scare you; but rather, to educate you of the risks of drinking while pregnant or during a period where you don’t know if you’re pregnant yet.
  5. Up until recently, it was thought to be ok to drink alcohol in small amounts during pregnancy. However, after generations of children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, every major medical association now openly endorses a completely alcohol-free pregnancy as the only way to prevent FASD.
  6. Follow a healthy lifestyle. What does that mean? Eat nutritious foods. Exercise. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.3 Any questions? Start here: Eat this. Don’t eat that.

You've got questions

We've got answers

I've heard a little alcohol during pregnancy is ok. Is it?

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My partner drinks. Is that ok?

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I drank before I knew I was pregnant. Now what?

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40% of pregnancies in MN are unplanned

Even if you don’t plan your pregnancy, plan to have a healthy one

You read that right: 40% of people who get pregnant in Minnesota were not planning on doing so. This is a big reason why Proof Alliance wants you to plan your pregnancy. Planning your pregnancy can look different for different people. Most people use some form of contraception, some refrain from sex.

Planning your pregnancy greatly reduces the chances that you’ll get pregnant, not know it, and then spend 4-6 weeks innocently thinking it’s ok to drink alcohol.

You have the power to prevent FASD

Let’s do it together

If you’re pregnant or think you might have unprotected sex, it’s important to know the risks of drinking alcohol. One of those risks is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. FASD is not a diagnosis; rather, it describes a range of birth defects caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities— possibly for life.8 FASD can be prevented by not drinking ANY alcohol—including wine, wine coolers, beer, mixed drinks, or hard alcohol—at any time during pregnancy.9

If you need help to stop drinking, talk to your doctor, nurse practitioner or healthcare provider. Or start here.

All major medical associations—both in America and internationally—have reached the same conclusion: no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Here’s what they have to say:

The World Health Organization10
The Centers for Disease Control11
The American Academy of Pediatrics12
The U.S. Surgeon General13