Preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
As long as a woman avoids alcohol consumption while she is pregnant (or could be pregnant), she is preventing fetal alcohol syndrome. Fathers can also play an important role in preventing the disorder in their children. They can encourage the mother to avoid situations that may involve drinking and set an example by not drinking alcohol themselves.
Preventing fetal alcohol syndrome is easy. If a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant or could become pregnant, her children will not develop the condition.
If a woman is drinking during pregnancy, it is never too late for her to stop. The sooner a woman stops drinking, the better it will be for both her baby and herself.
If a woman is not able to stop drinking, she should contact her doctor, local Alcoholics Anonymous, or a local alcohol treatment center. A woman should use an effective form of birth control until her drinking is under control. If a woman is sexually active and is not using an effective form of birth control, she should not drink alcohol. She could become pregnant and not know it for several weeks or more.
Mothers are not the only ones who can prevent fetal alcohol syndrome. The father's role is also important in helping the mother to abstain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. He can encourage her to steer clear of alcohol consumption by avoiding social situations that involve drinking and by not drinking alcohol himself.
Significant others, family members, schools, health and social service organizations, and communities can also help in fetal alcohol syndrome prevention through education and intervention.