Infant, Maternal & Reproductive Health Unit
Alcohol - Effects of Drinking
on Pregnant Women and Children
Any drinking during pregnancy may damage the mother and the baby. When the mother drinks, the fetus is
exposed to alcohol. This alcohol exposure can damage the baby. Research shows that any drinking during
pregnancy, even drinking in the first couple of weeks of pregnancy can damage the fetus. The effects may
include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with life long implications.
What the mother drinks goes directly to the developing baby at the same level of concentration, and while mom
may stay drunk for several hours, the fetus can stay drunk for three to four days.
The extent and type of damage depends on many factors. The brain is one of the bodys organs that is affected
by prenatal alcohol use. Brain development continues throughout pregnancy. Exposure to alcohol any time in
the pregnancy can affect the baby's brain.
In Florida, an estimated 2,040 infants are born each year with measurable effects that can be attributed to
prenatal alcohol exposure. These effects are known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and are irreversible,
life-long physical, mental or developmental impairments.
While the physical damage is irreversible, there are strategies that can work to help the child with a FASD
compenstate for some difficulties. The earlier these interventions start, the better the outcomes.
If you're pregnant, don't drink.
This site includes posters, information on incidence of alcohol related birth defects and information about CDC
funded activities related to prenatal alcohol use.
FASERS of Florida - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Education Service, family to family.
The Canadian Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome Internet support, information, advocacy and discussion forum includes information for families and health
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Support, Training, Advocacy,
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
& Other Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure, Florida Resource
(1.5 MB PDF -- you may need to download the free
view the document).
Guide developed by the Florida Department of Health, The Florida Department of Children and Families, and the
Florida State University Center for Prevention and Early Intervention.
The Financial Impact of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome- Chuck Lupton,
SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence, 2003
Florida Birth Defects
This website includes information relating to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
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This Children's Research Triangle website has ordering information for Dr. Chasnoff's articles and educational
tools including information on identifying and intervening with children who were exposed to alcohol and other drug
abuse during pregnancy. The site includes information to use when adopting a child overseas.
Journal of FAS
Information, education and research on FAS.
Research findings related to the effects of alcohol on pregnancy.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol
This site has lots of information about preventing, identifying and living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
National Respite Locator
The Access to Respite Care and Help (ARCH) helps families find respite care options for disabled children and adults
in all 50 states. Call (800) 773-5433 or go online.
Dr. Larry Burd's site includes a presentation on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and three tools to help you estimate the
scope of the problem due to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and related developmental disorders resulting from prenatal alcohol
exposure in your community.
The Partnership to Prevent Fetal Alcohol
The Partnership is to unite communities nationwide in a public health response to prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and
alcohol-related birth defects. The Partnership aims to empower mothers to deliver healthy babies by encouraging women
who are planning a pregnancy or already pregnant to avoid alcohol.
Pregnancy Calendar - These slides show the stages of pregnancy.
By looking at the parts of the fetus that are developing, you can
see what parts of the fetus that can be damaged by smoking, drinking
or using certain drugs while pregnant.
Texto completo accesible en linea. Provides online ordering of Spanish and English materials on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center
Provides information and resources about FASD
SAMSHA National Clearinghouse for
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Information
Provides information packets, brochures, literature searches. Includes a treatment locator.
U.S. Surgeon General 2005 Advisory
on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy
Texas Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Includes myths about alcohol and pregnancy.
University of South
1997 Graduate Student Research Project. The project involved locating published peer reviewed medical journal articles
that have shown various environmental and chemical exposure factors can cause learning disabilities, hyperactivity and
other disorders by damaging the delicate brain growth process in the unborn child during pregnancy. Go to this website
to view articles.
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Infant, Maternal & Reproductive Health