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Women reminded not to drink while pregnant

Updated: Monday, September 9 2013, 02:16 PM CDT
Posted by: Lauren McLane (

HARRISBURG -- Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Deputy Secretary Cheryl Dondero started off Pennsylvania’s annual Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder awareness event today at Butler Memorial Hospital, reminding Pennsylvanians of the dangers associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The event, which was open today to both health professionals and the general public, occurs each September in observance of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Month.

“FASD is 100 percent preventable, yet an estimated 40,000 babies are born with FASD each year,” Dondero said. “This troubling and alarming number demonstrates the importance and need for continued education about the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.” 

FASD is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in children exposed to alcohol during fetal development. Alcohol use during pregnancy can be devastating on the life of an unborn child, causing possible physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. 

Various studies have shown there is no safe level of drinking during pregnancy. Alcohol has more harmful, long-term effects to an unborn child than heroin or cocaine. Most individuals do not realize that even one binge-drinking episode can result in permanent damage to the fetus. Women reminded not to drink while pregnant

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