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International FASD Day is September 9th. FASD day, first observed in 1999, is dedicated to increasing awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in order to promote FASD prevention, diagnosis, and care for persons with FASD.

What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of consequences that might develop in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These consequences may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning impairments, which may have long-term consequences. The term ‘FASD’ is not meant to be used as a diagnostic indicator in clinical practice. Individuals would not be diagnosed with FASD.

What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a birth defect syndrome caused by maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. FAS is the most severe form of FASD. Individuals with FAS experience difficulties with their central nervous system (CNS), minor facial characteristics, and development. Individuals who have FAS may experience difficulties with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, and hearing. They may have a combination of these issues. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most common cause of intellectual disability and is completely preventable.

The risks of teenage pregnancies

As a result of the potential for both short- and long-term adverse repercussions for both the mother and child, teen pregnancy is a major public health concern. When compared to pregnant adults, pregnant teenagers are at greater risk of experiencing pregnancy-related difficulties, such as having a preterm birth or giving birth to a child with developmental issues. When a mother consumes alcohol or drugs during pregnancy, the health concerns for both mother and child are exacerbated. Because pregnant teenagers recognise their pregnancies later than adult women, this is of particular concern - pregnant teens are more prone to participate in binge drinking and drug use early in their pregnancies.


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