Promoting An Alcohol-Free Pregnancy.
After more than 40 years of research on the effects of alcohol exposure on the developing baby, Ken Jones, MD, along with the newly formed Better Beginnings Coalition kicked off a nationwide campaign called Nine Months Matter. The campaign goal is to spread the word that there is no known amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy. Research has confirmed that drinking alcohol does more damage to the developing fetus than heroin, cocaine or marijuana. When a developing baby is exposed to alcohol during pregnancy it can cause brain damage leading to lifelong disabilities which are collectively referred to as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
An individual who was exposed to alcohol before birth may suffer from physical, behavioral and learning problems. FASD is not uncommon. In fact, up to 1 in 20 U.S. school children may have an FASD making it more common than more frequently publically known disorders such as autism.
The good news is that FASD is entirely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy. There is no safe type, no safe amount and no safe time during pregnancy to drink alcohol.
Because there is no cure for FASD, only expensive treatments and supportive services, Dr. Ken Jones and the Institute for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Discovery are paving the way with advancements in interventions for children who have an FASD. He is considered truly the leading expert of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), as he was one of two doctors at the University of Washington who first identified FAS in the United States in 1973. He is a pediatrician by training, specializing in the identification and treatment of birth defects.
For more information on the Nine Months Matter Campaign please contact Mary Reynolds and Diana Simmes at the Center for Better Beginnings.