Alcohol consumed during pregnancy is the nation’s leading preventable cause of developmental disabilities and birth defects. Raising public awareness about the risk that prenatal alcohol exposure poses to the developing child is a priority for NOFAS. Overcoming the myths and misconceptions about the risk of prenatal alcohol exposure by disseminating the facts is only one strategy. Educating medical and allied health practitioners, students, and others who influence the choices made by women of childbearing age is an important approach for preventing FASD used by NOFAS. For the past six years, NOFAS has also implemented an initiative in clinical settings to screen women for alcohol problems. By identifying and intervening with women who may have a dependence on alcohol, NOFAS can provide access to therapeutic services that could prevent current or future pregnancies from being affected by alcohol.
While FASD is 100% preventable, achieving our goal of a society free from FASD is challenging . One way we are making progress is through media campaigns directed to the public at large. We engage in FASD prevention strategies that are targeted to specific at-risk populations, such as young people and alcohol-dependent women. You can help prevent FASD by referring people who ask about alcohol and pregnancy to NOFAS or passing on the message to urge women to abstain from alcohol while pregnant.