September is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Month

Enter the 2017 FASD Awareness Month art/photo contest. Submit an image of “What FASD means to me” by September 3, 2017. For details, please visit Check out this helpful guide for planning activities around FASD Awareness Month.

New American Academy of Pediatrics PediaLink Course: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – Recognizing Behavioral Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

The developmental and behavioral effects of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) last a lifetime. Recent studies estimate that approximately two to five percent of school-aged children live with the neurocognitive, self-regulation, and adaptive functioning challenges associated with PAE. Learn how pediatric medical home clinicians can identify, diagnose, and/or refer potentially affected children and address potential comorbidities. In addition, specific suggestions are provided for assessment of maternal use of alcohol during pregnancy. This course also familiarizes learners with the proposed mental health diagnosis, Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE). View complete course details and more information:

American Association of Family Physicians

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has developed a web page dedicated to Alcohol Misuse. The page contains multiple resources on this topic, including a new alcohol intervention manual, Addressing Alcohol Use Practice Manual: An Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Program, developed in collaboration with the Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine’s FASD Practice and Implementation Center funded through CDC.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC’s FAS Prevention Team has recently released four new maps showing state-level estimates of alcohol use among women. The data from 2015 come from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a telephone survey that tracks national and state-specific self-reported health risk behaviors of adults, 18 years and older, in the U.S. The four maps are:

  1. Weighted prevalence estimates of alcohol use (percentage of any use*/binge drinking**) among women aged 18-44 years
  2. Weighted prevalence estimates of any alcohol use* among women aged 18-44 years
  3. Weighted prevalence estimates of binge drinking** among women aged 18-44 years
  4. Percent of binge drinkers** among women who reported any alcohol use*, women aged 18-44 years

The maps as well as data tables are found here.

MotherTo Baby
MotherToBaby California's Sonia Alvarado, a teratogen information specialist, has authored "Marijuana, Pregnancy & Breastmilk: Getting Closer to Answers," a follow-up blog to a marijuana in pregnancy blog she authored 3 years ago which quickly became one of the most-visited pages on The English and Spanish versions of the blog are located at the following links:
Baby Blog English:
Baby Blog Spanish:

 MotherToBaby partners at the National CMV Foundation have authored an original blog for June's CMV Awareness Month. Kristen Hutchinson Spytek, National CMV Foundation President, shares her personal experience with CMV, having a child severely affected by it, and her journey to educate the public about CMV prevention.
CMV Blog:

September is FASD Awareness Month

 FASD Awareness Month is an expansion of FASD Awareness Day that has been held each year on September 9th since 1999. The direct link to the feature, where it will remain accessible after it is gone from CDC’s home page, is

National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC)

A National Conversation on ICWA and the New Regulations

A new article from the NACC Guardian, Vol. 38, No. 06, August 2016. Why Should Indian Children be Treated Differently ?, by Judge Leonard Edwards (Retired). To read the full article click here.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

On July 27, 2016 an article,  Updated Clinical Guidelines for Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,  was published in the latest  issue of Pediatrics as an e-pub ahead of print by Dr. Eugene Hoyme and colleagues. To view the entire article click here.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Clinical Report on FASDs was released online in the November 2015 issue of Pediatrics (attached).

Excessive alcohol use continues to be a drain on the American economy, according to a new study released in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM). Excessive drinking cost the United States $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink, a significant increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006. Most of these costs were due to reduced workplace productivity, crime, and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking. To view the press release click here.

The new Data & Statistics page includes four new maps with state-by-state data for 2013 from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System on alcohol use and binge drinking among women of childbearing age (within the last 30 days of the time of the interview).

For more information visit the recently updated CDC's Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) website at:

September 9 is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day.

In honor of FASD Awareness Day and to continue raising awareness about alcohol use during pregnancy and FASDs, we have a feature on the CDC home pageLiving with FASDs: In Taylor’s Own Words. The direct link to the feature, where it will remain accessible after it is gone from CDC’s home page, is

Also, check back for a Spanish version of the feature that will be available soon   

Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine
What is the best questionnaire to screen for alcohol use disorder in an office practice?
A variety of questionnaires can be used. The important thing is to be proactive about screening for this very common yet under recognized problem.
To read the article click here.

The National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs (NCNALSP) is happy to announce that the U.S. Senate passed an important amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, which reauthorizes elementary and secondary education programs for the next five years. To see the announcement click here.

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)

A closer look at the link between specific  SSRIs and Birth Defects. Read a summary of the key findings from this paper and read the article’s abstract.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC funds the Centers for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (CBDRP). This collaborative group of research centers aims to increase what we know about birth defects through tracking, research, and partnerships.

CDC Activities on Medication Use in Pregnancy: Treating for Two. This research is part of CDC’s Treating for Two: Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy initiative.

Do you have questions about how medications you are taking may affect a pregnancy? can help you find the answers.

The following appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) section on “News from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” March 24/31, 2015. The summary is based on the January 30 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Among Children Aged 7-9 Years – Arizona, Colorado, and New York, 2010, which described findings on prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome in three sites through the CDC-funded Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Surveillance Network II. To View the summary click here.

American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)

A web page as part of ACNM’s “Our Moment of Truth” pages – this resource has information that can be shared with patients, including risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, a chart showing when birth defects are most likely to occur during pregnancy, and tips on how to avoid alcohol use.

A “Share With Women” fact sheet published in ACNM’s Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health* – this fact sheet is available in English and Spanish (both are also attached as PDFs). They are free access to download and are intended to be provided to patients.

What Do You Know About Midwifery and Midwives? Click here to watch ACNM’s new video

Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). FREE MATERIALS: Brochures, Posters, Fact Sheets, and Training Guides. You can order via the online ordering system (click on “Go to Order Form”)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Expanding the Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
To view the publication click here.

On behalf of MotherToBaby, their June blog on asthma, allergies, and pregnancy by Mara Gaudette, MS, CGC, genetic counselor. To view the blog click here.

SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence is pleased to announce that Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #58, Addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), is now available for download from the SAMHSA Store.

The first TIP to deal directly with the topic of FASD, TIP 58 provides best-practice guidelines for preventing and addressing FASD in behavioral health settings.

The publication of TIP 58 provides a valuable new resource to the field of FASD. We encourage everyone to download the TIP and share it with providers, and also with individuals and families impacted by these disorders.

We also invite you to read our new Ask the Expert column, featuring an interview with Dr. Sterling K. Clarren, co-chair of TIP 58. And keep an eye on our Web site for announcements about forthcoming Webinars about the TIP and how it can be used to expand FASD-related services in a variety of settings.

Early Pregnancy Alcohol Linked to Heightened Premature and Small Baby Risk

In the UK the Department of Health recommends that pregnant women and those trying to conceive should not drink alcohol at all and no more than 1-2 units a week. [See below for translation to U.S. standard drinks.*] Middle class women were most likely to drink more than this, the study found. The researchers base their findings on responses to food frequency questionnaires by 1264 women at low risk of birth complications in Leeds. All the women were part of the Caffeine and Reproductive Health (CARE) study, looking into links between diet and birth outcomes.

The mums to be were asked how often they drank alcohol, and what type it was, at four time points: in the four weeks before conception; and in each of the subsequent three months (trimesters) throughout the pregnancy. Alcohol consumption was significantly higher before conception and in the first three months of pregnancy than in the subsequent two trimesters, averaging 11, 4, and just under two units a week, respectively. Over half (53%) of the women drank more than the recommended maximum two weekly units during the first trimester. And almost four out of 10 said they drank more than 10 units a week in the period leading up to conception. Those who drank more than two units a week were morelikely to be older, educated to degree level, of white ethnicity, and more likely to live in affluent areas. Some 13% of the babies born were underweight, and 4.4% were smaller than would be expected; a similar proportion (4.3%) were born prematurely. Drinking during the first three months of pregnancy was most strongly linked to these outcomes. Women who drank more than the recommended two weekly units were twice as likely to give birth to an unexpectedly small or premature baby than women who abstained completely. But even women who didn't exceed the maximum recommended alcohol intake during this period were still at increased risk of a premature birth, even after taking account ofother influential factors.

Drinking during the period leading up to conception was also linked to a higher risk of restricted fetal growth,indicating that this may also be a critical period, suggest the authors. "Our results highlight the need for endorsing the abstinence-only message,and further illuminate how timing of exposure is important in the association of alcohol with birth outcomes, with the first trimester being the most vulnerable period," they write.

* This is equivalent to about ½ to 1 US standard drink.
US standard drink = 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine, or 1.5 oz. distilled spirits.

  • 1 British unit is 8 grams of pure alcohol.
  • 1 US standard drink is 14 grams of pure alcohol.
Online calculator:

An article by Diane King and Becky Porter of CDC’s Arctic FASD Regional Training Center from the Anchorage Daily News about alcohol use, FASDs, alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) and the RTC’s efforts in implementing alcohol SBI in public health centers in Alaska as well as new funding from SAMHSA for training efforts. Read at:

Changing High-Risk AlcOhol Use and Increasing Contraception Effectiveness Study (CHOICES)
The CHOICES intervention is now included in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). A link to the NREPP registry description of CHOICES is included on our website at along with a CHOICES one-pager and a link to download or order the CHOICES curriculum. The direct link to the NREPP description of CHOICES is found here and the full PDF is attached. Being included in NREPP is a promising strategy for making the intervention more accessible to others.

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) has published two new studies on alcohol use during pregnancy published recently.

  • The journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research has published “The association of mild, moderate, and binge prenatal alcohol exposure and child neuropsychological outcomes: A meta-analysis.”Rread the abstract of the study here and a summary of key findings here.
  • The journal American Journal of Health Education has published “Women's knowledge, views, and experiences regarding alcohol use and pregnancy: Opportunities to improve health messages.” Read the article’s abstract here and summary of key findings here.

FAS ANNIVERSARY. 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of when Drs. Kenneth Lyons Jones and David Smith discovered Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). In the following video, Dr. Jones delivers a powerful message about drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Plus, expert resources are available on To view the video click here.

New Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Report: Excessive Alcohol Use Very Expensive for States, DC

We are pleased to announce the release of a new article entitled the “State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption, 2006.” The article, which is available free to the public, is being posted online today by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and will be published in the journal’s October 2013 online issue.

The authors report that excessive alcohol use cost states and D.C. a median of $2.9 billion in 2006 (the most recent data available), ranging from $420 million in North Dakota to $32 billion in California. This means the median cost per state for each alcoholic drink consumed was about $1.91.

Binge drinking, which is defined as consuming five or more drinks on an occasion for men or four or more drinks on an occasion for women, was responsible for more than 70 percent of excessive alcohol use related costs in all states and D.C. The District of Columbia had the highest per-person cost ($1,662), while Utah had the highest cost per drink ($2.74). Furthermore, about $2 of every $5 in state costs were paid by government.

Economic cost estimates for states and D.C. were based on a previous CDC study that found that excessive drinking cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006. Costs were assessed across 26 cost categories and included losses in workplace productivity, health care expenses, criminal justice, and motor vehicle crash expenses. However, the study did not include a number of other costs, such as those due to pain and suffering, and is therefore likely to be an underestimate.

We encourage you to find out how much excessive drinking cost your state or district, and help us spread the word by:

  • Customizing and releasing the press release below for your state,*
  • Customizing and posting some of the suggested Facebook or Twitter text below to your account*, and
  • Raising awareness about the high cost of excessive drinking where you live.

Please visit our web site – – for more information on excessive alcohol use, and the alcohol section of the Community Guide web site for more information on evidence-based strategies to prevent excessive alcohol use.

Thank you for your continued interest and efforts in the prevention of excessive alcohol consumption.

Preparing a Healthy Path: The Impacts of FAS/ARND on Tribal Justice Systems

A Training Curriculum for Tribal Justice Systems Personnel

In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Team awarded the National Indian Justice Center (NIJC) a cooperative agreement. Pursuant to that cooperative agreement, NIJC developed a fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) awareness curriculum which promotes a tribal multi-disciplinary team approach for responding to persons with FAS and alcohol related neuro-developmental disorder (ARND) who are involved in the tribal justice system as defendants, witnesses and/or victims. The goals of this curriculum are to increase awareness of FAS/ARND among tribal justice system personnel and to reduce the secondary disabilities associated with FAS/ARND specifically those that result in increased criminal behavior among or victimization of persons with FAS/ARND.

To learn more about FAS/ARND, go to About FAS.

This curriculum is available through NIJC at a cost of $40 including, printing, handouts and standard shipping via U.S. mail. For more information about the curriculum content, go to About the FAS Curriculum. To order the curriculum, go to NIJC's Publication List.

A New Resource to Help Pediatricians Identify and Manage Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), with support through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) has developed a comprehensive, web-based FASD toolkit ( that helps to raise awareness, promote surveillance and screening, and ensure that all affected children receive appropriate and timely interventions