AAP Says No Amount of Alcohol Should be Considered Safe During Pregnancy – A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) identifies prenatal exposure to alcohol as the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities in children. The report, “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,” in the November 2015 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 19) stresses that no amount of alcohol should be considered safe to drink during any trimester of pregnancy.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) is an all-encompassing term for the range of effects that can occur in someone whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Neurocognitive and behavioral problems from prenatal alcohol exposure are lifelong, but early recognition, diagnosis and therapy for any FASD condition can improve a child’s health. Unfortunately, a lack of uniformly accepted diagnostic criteria for fetal alcohol-related disorders has critically limited efforts that could lessen the impact of FASDs, says Janet F. Williams, MD, FAAP, one of the report’s lead authors. “Even though fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are the most commonly identifiable causes of developmental delays and intellectual disabilities, they remain significantly under-recognized,” said Dr. Williams.
Prenatal alcohol exposure is a frequent cause of structural or functional effects on the brain, heart, bones and spine, kidneys, vision and hearing. It’s associated with a higher incidence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and specific learning disabilities such as difficulties with mathematics and language, visual-spatial functioning, impaired impulse control, information processing, memory skills, problem solving, abstract reasoning and auditory comprehension. – See more here.