Alcohol Can Harm Your
Unborn Child
Diane Black, Ph.D.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Foundation of
the Netherlands
No amount of alcohol
is safe during pregnancy
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Reduces fertility
Increases risk of miscarriage
Birth defects
Brain damage
learning disorders
and behavioral disorders
Long term:
 Unemployment
 Mental illness
 Criminality
FASD:
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
F A S D
FAS
FAE
ARND
pFAS
ARBD
 FAS: Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome
 FAE: Fetal Alcohol Effects
 ARND: Alcohol Related
Neurodevelopmental
Disorder
 pFAS: partial FAS
 ARBD: Alcohol Related
Birth Defects
Study--Child Behavior Checklist
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Acts young for age
Argues a lot
Can't sit still, restless, hyperactive
Cruelty, bullying, or meanness to
others
Disobedient at home
Doesn't show guilt after
misbehaving
Can't concentrate or poor attention
Impulsive or acts without thinking
Lying or cheating
Showing off or clowning
Steals from home
Steals outside
Nash et al.(Arch Womens Mental Health, 2006)
Long term outcome
Mental illness >90%
Early school leavers 60%
Trouble with the law 60%
Institutionalization (psychiatric, drugs- or
alcohol addiction treatment, prison) 50%
 Inappropriate sexual behavior 50%
 Alcohol or drug addiction 30%
 Dependent living 80% of those over age 21
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Streissguth et al. (CDC, 1996)
Support parents
Prevention
Doctor, midwife
Foster care
Parents
School
Researchers
Child with FAS
Professionals
Doctor
Psychologist
Social worker
Dietician
Special education teachers
Physical therapy
Play therapy
Speech therapy
Adult
with FAS
Professionals
Supervised living and working
Judges
Prison workers
Mental health care workers
Drug and alcohol addiction
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Financial cost of FASD
Canada (Stade et al. 2009)
1% of live births has FASD
Estimated costs included: Medical,
educational, social services, loss of parent’s
productivity (time off for doctor visits)
Did not include loss of productivity of adults
with FAS
Did not account for parents who quit work to
care for child(ren) with FASD
Total annual costs per person with FASD:
$ 21, 642
Total annual costs for Canada for FASD:
$ 5.3 billion
Many babies in Europe are
prenatally exposed to alcohol
 Netherlands: 35-50% of pregnant
women drink (Health Council of the
Netherlands)
 Spain: 45% of babies in Barcelona
heavily exposed (Garcia-Algar, 2008)
 Ireland: 63% of women drink during
pregnancy (Coombe Women's Hospital,
Dublin)
Prevalence FASD
 Young school children in the US: 20 to
50 per thousand FASD (May et al.,
2009).
 6-year-olds in Lazio region of Italy: 20
to 40 per thousand FASD (May et al.,
2006).
 School children in Croatia: 40 per
thousand FASD (Petković & Barisić,
2010).
What can Europe do? (1)
– Measure the problem
 Conduct active case-ascertainment studies of
prevalence in each country.
– Prevention
 Develop clear guidelines based on best scientific
evidence.
 Make sure that the info gets to professionals
(training, literature).
 Make sure that the info gets to pregnant women
(via doctors and midwives, direct public outreach
such as tv, radio, labels on bottles).
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What can governments do? (2)
– Support of people with FASD
 Support research into best practices in
education, medical care of people with FASD
 Train professionals (health-care, justice,
education) to recognize and manage FASD
 Provide adapted special education, supervised
living and work environments for adults with
FAS.
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More information: www.eufasd.org